Why I Joined QUESTPress

Written by Jacob King (Q27)

Coming to the University of Maryland, most students come with high aspirations of getting a 4.0, joining a club team, and just living college like in the movies. For most of us, around our sophomore year is when we receive a rude awakening to the reality that is college and life in general. For me, it came with my deeper involvement within the R. H. Smith School of Business, by joining a business fraternity, and from becoming the President of a club on campus. By elevating myself to a new level, I gained a new perspective of those who were in leadership roles on campus. It was in this moment when I truly realized the accomplishments of others around me, and it was frightening and awe-inspiring at the same time. I wanted to get there. I wanted to be able to look back and think that I left everything I could in the moment. This sparked the change in how I treated college and life as a whole.

From here, I found other endeavors to pursue. The biggest was joining QUEST this past semester. While being late in the process for applying, I met my cohort and was taken aback one more time. Here were students who were a year younger than me but all as accomplished in their own ways. This time, there weren’t any emotions of being frightened or awe-inspired. Instead, there were those of satisfaction. Reflecting on the strides I had made in the past year, I felt immense pride when looking around at the peers by my side.

Naturally, I tried to think about the next challenge for my personal development. I had to look back to my sophomore year and one particular instance, when my club hosted Maya Pope Chappell, an editor from LinkedIn. After she spoke at the couple of sessions we had organized for her, we talked one-on-one for about 15 minutes about the benefits of writing one’s thoughts and publishing them. In the general sessions, she explained what it was like to be a campus editor for LinkedIn, but this was different, it was deeper. We discussed the personal satisfaction involved in writing and how it can lead to meeting those who are like-minded, making valuable connections that last for years to come. My biggest hesitation was that I know one of my biggest weaknesses is my writing ability, or lack there of. I was aware of this weakness but never strove to fix or improve it.

Fast forward to today when I recently joined one of the best honors programs at the University of Maryland for developing innovative thinkers; I just couldn’t let this opportunity pass me by. The opportunity to work with great minds to help curate analytical articles on topics that would be read not only by my peers, but also by potential employers. The opportunity to have my opinions on real world topics be put into words and open for feedback and criticism. The opportunity to join another circle of motivated peers who I can help elevate in the same way that they will elevate me.

I hope that I can leave an impact on QUESTPress, and I look forward to my writing assignments in the future.


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