Today marks the end of my seventh and final year working on a newspaper. I joined my high school’s newspaper somewhat on a whim when I was a sophomore – I needed an elective, my friends were doing it too and it sounded fun. This surprises a lot of people. I’m not really sure why; I guess I just don’t really scream “journalist.” It makes sense, I suppose. I am an Economics concentrator. I’m going to work in consulting and I’ve never strongly considered a career at a newspaper or any other publication. So why have I spent the last seven years of my life devoting hours a week to a newspaper? It’s fun, and it makes me happy. I just like doing it. Some of my fondest memories in high school are from weekends spent in the journalism room laying out the upcoming issue. I’ve spent pretty much every Tuesday afternoon at Colgate in the Maroon-News office, and I honestly can’t think of a time when I really, genuinely didn’t want to go. Call me a nerd (or call me crazy-OCD, you pick) but I truly love the feeling of laying out a perfect page, where everything is in line and spaced out right and just looks pretty.
Since I’m a senior and this is my last issue of the Maroon-News and I only have two weeks left at Colgate (I’m going to stop myself before I start to cry), I’m giving myself permission to be super cliché: working on a newspaper, even though I have no intention to go into journalism, has really taught me the importance of doing what makes you happy. It’s taught me that it’s okay to do something for no other reason that you just like it. Sure, I could have joined the Finance Club or something that may have looked a little better on my resume when I was applying to investment banking internships (oh, the days when I thought I wanted to be an investment banker). But honestly, that doesn’t sound like something I would have liked. There are a ton of activities I could have gotten involved with at Colgate that would have been more “relevant” to my future. But I only had four years here – and holy crap, those years flew by – and I don’t regret being on the Maroon-News for a second. I can’t stress how important it’s been to do something that’s totally different from my schoolwork and my other extracurriculars, something I do just for me.
Much like joining my high school newspaper, I kind of joined the Maroon-News on a whim too. I was a terrified little first-year, and I jumped at the opportunity to do something that felt comfortable and reminded me of home. Like most first-years, I was feeling really lost and I wanted to get involved in something that I knew I enjoyed. And I wanted to find the same kind of community that I had at my high school paper. I knew working on the Maroon-News would give me something to look forward to, because I knew it was something that made me happy.
This lesson that I’ve learned through seven years of working on a newspaper is something I hope to carry with me. I won’t always have a newspaper to fall back on, but when I’m off adulting in real life I know I’ll find something, a hobby or whatever, to fill its place. Something I just like doing, that’s totally unrelated to what I spend 90 percent of my time doing, that’s just for me.