Affinity Magazine was created as a platform for teens to follow their journalistic endeavors and find a voice in this complex, ever-changing world. I had the honor of writing for Affinity for over a year, my first article being published April 2016. I have since then been cited by other media platforms, translated to other languages, but, most importantly, I have witnessed firsthand my own words starting conversations. To me, that has been the most valuable accomplishment Affinity could have awarded me with.
As my years as a teen come to an end, so does my time at Affinity. While I haven’t been the most active writer the website has seen, I have totaled twenty-four published articles (plus a few drafts I felt like weren’t Affinity-worthy). I won’t write this as a testimony on how Affinity has made me find my passion for journalism or how aided me in my quest for internships and work opportunity. That is not untrue, but that was never the reason why I wanted to join Affinity’s team of writers.
I first came across Affinity when the magazine’s Twitter account followed me. I gave the tweets a quick look and rushed to slide into those DMs asking if a high school junior from Brazil could apply for a position. I was ecstatic knowing I could and then receiving my confirmation email. I did consider being a journalist, maybe even a writer, but it didn’t take long for me to understand that that was not what I saw myself doing for the rest of my life. Affinity was key in making me understand that and, to me, that remains the reason why the magazine has been so important to me.
Being good at something, or even enjoying doing it, does not, by default, mean that that will have to be your vocation. That was my case with journalism and writing. After joining Affinity, I found that writing was more therapeutic to me than anything else. It then made the join the board of my high school’s newly formed newspaper and, later on, apply for a writing position at The Kraze Magazine, where I still write for both for web and print.
This farewell is mostly for Affinity writers. Don’t feel pressured to be the one getting the most clicks, the most shares, the most comments, the most retweets. That will most often not be the case. You might end up writing articles you believe will be your big break and end up with less than one hundred views and no comments. Write because you love it — because you have something to say. Write because you want your fellow Affinity writers to engage in a conversation with you, because you want the world to see that you too, as a teen, have a voice and can be as eloquent as any adult.
To satisfy your curiosity, Affinity has given me the experience to help create Student Scoop, write for The Kraze, join Washington Square News’ social media team, and to become an Orientation Leader at NYU Steinhardt, all of that in a few months over a year. Enjoy your years at Affinity while they last. Make the most of them, engage with other writers, be in contact with the editors. Don’t think of Affinity as yet another extracurricular, think of it as an outlet for your thoughts because Affinity will only be what you make of it.