Contrary to popular belief, the most important step, the hardest step, of a journey is not the first one. As Sanderson says, it’s the next one, the second one, always the step that comes after. The Medley’s trajectory towards publishing has been convoluted and varied. It had wandered into many places before it took its current shape in the summer of this year. It felt like a huge load off of our backs to finally see it materialize and approximate our long-held vision. But even as we celebrated the release of the first issue, the immediate and pressing concern on our minds was the question: what next?
We knew that we could not let our initial success provide us with a false sense of security and lull us into believing that it was going to be easy from here on out. Only the first obstacle had been crossed, the first milestone reached. The long road was still spread out twisting before us and it required even more effort on our part to build upon previous successes, and our past ideals. The immediate objective after the release of the journal was to come up with a second issue which was just as good as the first one, if not better.
Working towards this new issue was not a step upwards, but a path of tracing newer avenues of shape and form in the small, microcosmic literary world that emerging writers interact within their daily lives. This was an exploration of alternative creative realities, a project where young writers could feel comfortable enough to share their visions and revisions of creative expression as they go through the motions of their college selves and attempt to process the impressions which come upon their minds.
Some central themes emerge in the works we accepted, but most of them return to that one idea we wished to stay true to: the examination of the self and of what constitutes one’s identity. Whether it’s through exploring the functioning of physical spaces and locations, or the way the individual relates to its close institutional or familial environment, or perhaps even with oneself, there is that soul-searching most of us engage with as we grow older to acquire versions of ourselves. We hope each of these pieces make you think, challenge you and ultimately, help you encounter a crossroads of ideas.