When I first imagined what I would write for this foreword in the early days of the journal, I imagined something effervescent. It would be a pastiche of the student journal – something sweet and soft – observing and teasing out the joys of writing, reading and community.
That foreword existed before the crisis of the pandemic. Before campus was empty and before UNSWeetened was online. It existed in a space where writing was not easy – but it was easier than now.
I was scared that no one would submit this year. That everyone would decide that (and understandably so) they had bigger things to deal with, bigger things to mourn, bigger things to ignore until they can’t anymore and bigger things to persevere through.
Nonetheless, students did submit. Through dealing, mourning, ignoring and persevering – students submitted, editors edited, designers designed and events were made and shared.
Writing and reading will persevere. It won’t be effortless – it will demand effort. It won’t be timeless – it will demand time. It won’t be private – it will demand publicity. It will compel you to share or leave you to feel the risks of hiding (think the incognito tab and the diary under the bed).
It is a testament to our shared practice and community that this edition of UNSWeetened lives and breathes. Our need for personal expression, communal reflection and connection through reading continues, not despite crisis, but existing, revealing and mourning inside of our shared crisis.
So, thank you to all the students who submitted, to the students who worked on the journal and to the students who read the journal.
Thank you for persevering