Meet Jonathan Kang: The Howler’s newest Editor-in-Chief

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Elle Chan

TA(KANG) RISKS: Senior Jonathan Kang is ready to “figure it out” by proudly leading The Howler into its 24th year of publication.

Jonathan Kang, Editor-in-Chief

I’m not cut out for this. As I sat in my first band class ever, anxiously clicking the keys on my oboe and nervously darting my eyes around at all the confident players with far more experience, those words rang in my ears. Later as I sat on the floor of The Howler as a brand new freshman surrounded by intimidating upperclassmen and daunting assignments, those words rang a troubled sound in my ears, subtly insisting that I was not ready for success.

For those of you going into this next year ready to start an entirely new school experience by exploring different clubs and activities, you may also have those words stuck in your head as you search for a place to belong. But instead of shying away from that feeling, I urge you to seek out new opportunities and embrace that nervousness by engaging in the school community.

The most rewarding experiences in my life have come from trying new things—I still love playing the oboe and I’m now a leader on The Howler—and I’ve met some of my best friends through those new groups.

Although that voice in the back of my head made me apprehensive about my ability to succeed, it was ironically only by diving in headfirst that I was able to develop into who I am today. Of course, success is never guaranteed, but that isn’t to say failure is necessarily a bad thing either; failure teaches you important lessons and can make you even more excited to seek new opportunities. So learn. Keep growing.

As I was writing this article, I was reminded of a (very) brief conversation the past Editor-in-Chief and I had about leading The Howler. When I asked what advice they had for the next year of turbulent yet rewarding Howler leadership, I was naturally expecting some sort of monumental or awe-inspiring advice—something to provide a clear roadmap of the future and guide me towards success. All they said was “figure it out.”

Although at the moment I frankly thought it was uninspiring advice, in retrospect, it taught me a lesson that rings true for most things I do: Get out there and try new things, figuring it out as you go along. After all, no amount of proverbial wisdom will teach you what actually engaging with the opportunities around you is like. So step just a little bit outside your comfort zone every day and try not to listen to the voice holding you back. Venture out and be willing to try out new activities.

Whether you’re a freshman in Marching Band or a senior writing college apps, it’s never too late to set a new standard and define who you want to be.

As the back-to-school nervousness begins to kick in and you start this new chapter of your life, seek to confront your fears by believing that you really are cut out for whatever you set your mind to. You’ll figure it out.