Emer Walsh

While initially filled with excitement at the prospect of returning to campus, I found it hard to plan for college this year. In an era governed by constant uncertainty, I had little idea of what to expect. But I’m surprised, and pleasantly so. 

I’m hesitant to term this period as the ‘post-Covid’ era because if the last eighteen months have proven anything, it’s that we don’t know what lies ahead. For now, however, we should be kind to ourselves and take pride in our resilience. We owe it to ourselves to enjoy this time we have together again. 

The pandemic for me, like I imagine it did for many others, consisted of both immense highs and boundless lows, most of which took place within a four-wall confinement otherwise known as my bedroom. For an undefined myriad of reasons, the pandemic caused immeasurable pain and hurt for all of us, with some losing others and others losing themselves along the way. 

Many of us will be crawling out from the pandemic’s rubble as different people than we were before. What’s important is that among these changes comes a collective acknowledgement of the hardships we faced and an appreciation of the sacrifices we have made to get to where we are today. Better days await us all, and they start now. 

With that said, I am overwhelmed with pride to present to you Volume XV: Issue 1 (Gender). 

Initially conceptualised as synonymous to defined biological traits, gender has since evolved to encompass far more than generations before us could ever fathom. It has paved the way for a new social era that further enables more fluid expression, allowing those who fell outside the traditional binary of man and woman to finally enjoy comfort in themselves and their selfhood. 

In this issue, you will find among other sensational reads, a first-hand account of both the pleasures and complexities of solo female travel, harrowing reports of the harm caused at the hands of those perpetrating gender-based violence both near and far, a captivating analysis of the role of gender in Sally Rooney’s latest best-selling novel, and a stunning photoshoot conveying the resilience found in one’s style and identity. 

I also could not end this first editorial without expressing how truly grateful I am to be appointed to this position. I say this while conscious of the high standard set by those who stood here before me, many of whom I owe for sharing with me their invaluable wisdom and counsel. I can only hope to repay you all for your untold kindness by ensuring this volume is one you can be proud of. 

It is my hope that the pages of Motley can act as a solace for those of you settling back into a once familiar reality. As your solace, you’re entitled to have your say in what you read. The inboxes of our team are always open and your thoughts and ideas are invariably welcome. 

The dawn of a new academic year has finally arrived, let’s make it a good one.

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