/What’s next? 
Graphic by Bell Jackson

What’s next? 

By Lucy Frost-Helms, Copy editor; Cady Inabinett, Editor in chief; Wesley Walter, Managing editor; Sam Cost, Business manager  

As the 2023-24 school year comes to a close, one question seems to be at the front of everyone’s mind around Montevallo’s campus: what’s next? 

For graduating seniors, a whole new chapter of their lives starts on May 4 as they kickpoff their post-graduation endeavors. But, even for those students who aren’t graduating in May, summer can still be a transitory period, as they set out on internships, take classes or just relax. 

In this section, four members of The Alabamian’s editorial staff share what lies in store for them in the coming months and reflect on how this school year—or the past few—have treated them. 

What’s a plan? 

By Lucy Frost-Helms, Copy editor 

Okay, well, I guess I have one plan. After I graduate—which I hope that happens unless something wild occurs in the next two weeks—I am going to finish out my internship in Chattanooga, which will end on June 30. However, after that, I’m not really sure. I have a trip to the Smokies planned, and maybe I’ll make it down to the beach soon, but in all honesty, I feel like I haven’t had time to plan anything. Maybe I’ll continue editing Oxford commas in the future, or maybe I’ll start selling apples, or maybe I’ll win the lottery. One thing is for sure, though. I’m going to miss UM—like, a lot. Right now, I’m tired and I don’t want to do my final exams, but when I walk across the stage on Star Wars Day (May the 4th be with you), I’ll be sad. So, I’ll definitely need a mimosa. Or two. Or 10. Montevallo has done me good, and I’ll never forget it.  

Nothing goes to plan—and that’s okay 

By Cady Inabinett, Editor in chief 

I have been panicking as of late. 

When I started college, my intention was always to head straight into a graduate program right upon graduating. But I should know by now that I rarely, if ever, follow plans that I conceived four years prior.  

It turns out running a newspaper takes up a lot of your time, as do classes and trying to maintain some semblance of a social life. So, no grad school applications were filled out this year. R.I.P. to freshman year Cady’s plan. 

However, this means in the very near future I will be living on gap year time—and what does that even mean? I’ve been a student for, basically, all of my life; it’s really hard to imagine my life without the structure of school. I’m someone who loves structure and routine, so the purgatory threat of being away from school is terrifying to me. 

But, as scary as all of this is, it’s necessary. It’ll be a challenge, but it’ll be good for me to experience a little bit more life outside the structures and routines of being a student. 

When it feels like time is moving too quickly, I like to remember a quote from comedian Jenny Slate. She said, “As the image of myself becomes sharper in my brain and more precious, I feel less afraid someone else will erase me by denying me love.” While my anxieties at this point in time aren’t about being disliked, I feel as though the sentiment of self-image developing with time and leading to increased self-confidence is good to bear in mind as I head out into the next stage of my life. I can’t wait to see who I will be next.  

Mr. Walter goes to Washington 

By Wesley Walter, Managing editor

Having summer plans that entail more than lazing around the house for a few months or working a highly prestigious retail or waterpark job is very new to me.  

Following, the end of classes, I’ll spend a little under a month at home in Huntsville before heading to Washington, D.C. for a two-month internship with the National Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists. During that month, I look forward to resting my brain a bit and hiking a lot. My mind has, as usual, been so active this semester at the expense of my body turning to trash, so it will be a nice change of pace to flip the script and let my brain atrophy for a bit instead. 

I can’t say how excited I am to be going to D.C. though, mostly because I don’t think it’s fully clicked to me that I actually will be going. I’ve never lived outside Alabama for more than a month, which makes the idea of living there more bizarre to me than I anticipated. But more than that, I’ll be there during election season, which has me equally as nervous as I am excited.  

Scariness aside, though, I like D.C. a lot, and it feels great to have an opportunity to use what I have learned through The Alabamian at a professional organization. More importantly though, for once my plans beat working in the waterpark industry by a mile! 

Concrete and raves 

By Sam Cost, Business manager 

This year was my junior year at Montevallo, and it was, by far, the craziest one yet!  

I stayed pretty busy between my campus jobs, club roles and classes. However, my favorite thing I did this year was host an eclipse watch party on campus! It was a big hit, and really helped promote the Astronomy Club.  

As for my summer, I have a couple of big things planned. Mainly, I will be focusing on my internship at CEMEX. CEMEX is a building material company focusing mainly on concrete. I will be working at a quarry just down the road in Brierfield, helping more with the engineering aspect of things. I am really excited about it!  

Besides my internship, I am planning on going to both Bonnaroo and Lalapalooza to get my rave on. Overall, I am really excited for the summer! 

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Cady Inabinett is the editor in chief of The Alabamian. She’s majoring in English and double-minoring in political science and peace and justice studies. She enjoys reading, watching movies, caring for houseplants and generally just being pretentious in her free time.

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Lucy Frost-Helms is the copy editor of The Alabamian. She’s majoring in social science and minoring in philosophy. She enjoys being a goober, eating chicken salad for breakfast, watching “National Treasure” and telling you that she will “definitely pay you back for that.” Lucy has the worst memory of all time and will forget major, important details of stories you tell her.

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Wesley Walter is managing editor for The Alabamian. He is a junior English major and mass communications minor. Wesley boasts a 750 credit score, boyish good looks and soulful eyes that contain a deep indescribable sadness. In his free time, he enjoys travelling, visiting gas stations and thinking about getting into surfing.

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Samantha Cost is the business manager for The Alabamian. She is a freshman mathematics major and her hobbies include playing the piano, hiking and thrifting.