Editors' Letter

Visual by Vivian

Visual by Vivian

Dear UA Readers,

You heard it here first: It’s officially spooky szn. 

That’s why we went with the obvious October theme: FEAR. *cue old lady screaming sound effect* 

This month is all about what makes us feel afraid—the unknown, the future, the dark, whatever it is. Fear is often what drives our actions and emotions, whether we like it or not. We’re scared that people won’t accept us, so we change who we are. We’re scared that we’re not enough, so we work ourselves to death. We’re scared that we’ll fail, so we give up. We’re scared, so we run. 

We want to learn more about our fears. Study them from the inside out—where they come from, why we have them, how they affect us. Because maybe with enough understanding, we can conquer them. We are not our fears. We are more than our fears. They are just something that we have to overcome—and maybe learn while doing it. 

We’re channeling the dark reflectiveness of Donnie Darko, the teenage angst fear of Juno, the childhood creeps of Coraline. “Spook” by Adult Jazz, “every love story is a ghost story” by Matt Lange, the chilling beauty of Sufjan Stevens. Fear in all its most terrifying and beautiful forms. 

This is not just about Halloween costumes and horror movies. This is about the fear we experience every day—the kind that’s human; the kind that if we overcome, we can do anything. Tell us what you’re afraid of—you might feel a little less alone.

- Vivian Chambers, Editor-in-Chief

Hi, UA readers!

October’s theme is “Fear,” and I think that goes without saying. October is a scary month. It’s spooky season, after all. Think of the haunting nature of literally every Lana del Rey song or “1980s Horror Film” by Wallows. The fear of not knowing who you want to be or who you are, or how to get there. Or worse, the fear of knowing these things.

As much as we may hate to admit it, fear drives a lot of what we do and how we do it. Fear tells us to be afraid, to not take risks, to conform, and a lot of times we listen. Fear tells us to be self-conscious and doubt ourselves. Fear keeps us from jumping off the cliff, but it also leads to a life on the sidelines. We began this magazine because we were tired of the sidelines: maybe you can relate. 

At times it seems like there is a lot to be afraid of in this world. Outside of the typical teen angst and worries, injustices are occurring every day- not to mention the fact that climate change is more prevalent now than ever. 

Although it almost seems silly to fear anything else than the macro issues plaguing our world, October’s theme doesn’t have to be the over-the-top Donnie Darko, Get Out, “My World is Ending, and I Don’t Know How to Fix It” type of fear. But it totally can if that’s your thing.  

I invite you to take this opportunity to write about what scares you, however small, however large. Because we are still young, take this opportunity to write about the embarrassing moment you had in your chemistry class, or college, or growing up, or moving on, or the unknown- did I mention college?- or anything else that is absolutely terrifying. I promise you are not the only one who is scared. So show us your heart. Get spooky. Get weird. I cannot wait to see what you come up with.

- Savanna Chada, managing Editor

When I think of fear, the first thing that comes to mind is Coraline. I was seven when the movie came out, and I vividly remember my neighbor shaking next to me in the theatre. The following weeks at school, my friends and I gossipped, as young children do, about how terrifying the “other mother” was. I nodded along with what my friends were saying, but I was really too terrified to admit how much I adored the movie. I’ll admit it now: I love to be scared. 

Tim Burton and all his haunting lands captured my attention from a young age, despite how much the “boogie man” freaked me out in films like The Night Before Christmas. I grit my teeth with wide eyes and a pounding chest when I watched Rear Window, and curse words flew out of my mouth when I saw Us. Halloween has completely ruined babysitting for me, and I giggled at and simultaneously feared Pennywise in the original It

So, if you haven’t picked up on it, I am super excited for this month’s theme. I am most excited about all of the places one can go with this theme. There are scary movies, books, music, and photography. Nicolas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now, Stephen King’s Pet Sematary, and Camille Saint-Saëns’ Dance Macabre. However, I would encourage you to take a deeper approach to this theme. What are you afraid of? The dark? Commitment? Failure? Whatever it is, share it with us, and do it in whatever way feels right to you: write a poem, take a picture, or sing a song. We want to see it. 

“It’s Halloween, everyone’s entitled to one good scare.” - Halloween, 1978. 

- Katherine DeBerry, Editor