Editor’s farewell column: Karan Abrol

Karan Abrol

A week after I landed in the Bay Area, I went to an open mic night to stave off the loneliness and homesickness I was already starting to feel. Before starting, I told the crowd that it was my first week here, that my family was far away and that I’d lived all my life somewhere else. Almost immediately an old man walked up to the stage, offered me a handshake and said “welcome home.” I can’t explain the warmth I felt in that moment, and I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that almost every day I’ve spent with La Voz has made me feel that way.

De Anza is a difficult place to be. Few people feel satisfied or accomplished when they enter the campus; we are all disappointed, or have something to prove to the world. We want to transfer, get a degree, get a good job… whatever it takes to leave this place as quickly as possible. We seldom make close friends with our classmates, because we know our situation is temporary.

I joined La Voz this winter, and one of my first assignments was to cover a Senate meeting that went on for six hours, a senator told me I had no integrity, and I barely understood half the issues I was trying to write about. I came to class the next day embarrassed and tired, and halfway through, Cecilia awarded me an “Alma de La Voz” and everyone applauded. I was completely blown away, and I felt close to a group of people in a way I don’t think most De Anza students usually experience here. This is just one little example, and I could go on forever, but my time at La Voz has always felt like time with a bunch of people who genuinely care about each other, with no ulterior motives or interests. People don’t have anything to gain from making friends at La Voz, yet they do it anyways. I think that’s really special.

I genuinely think working for La Voz is something everyone should do in De Anza. Learning to write, edit, handle deadlines (and people), talk to difficult subjects, cover complicated issues and try not to get crushed over the world’s somewhat surprising disdain of news media, is important and transformative, but I think the value of the community and relationships Cecilia has created with La Voz is something so valuable to me, I won’t ever forget it. So here’s my plug: plenty of opportunities in this college will build your resume, give you college credit, or teach you important life skills. I think La Voz is offering a family, if that’s what you’re interested in.


Karan “Kabrol” Abrol will be transferring to University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign in the fall.