The Value of Showing Up

The Value of Showing Up

Woody Allen once famously said, “eighty percent of success is showing up.” This wise quote encapsulates my earlier years on The

Maroon-News staff, during which I irreverently came to the office and “observed” for hours alongside people with whom I couldn’t move beyond the acquaintance level. This is how The Maroon-News has consequently added the most value to my time at Colgate University.

I walked into the run-down office in October of my freshman year and asked for Samantha – there was no Samantha, but a Stephanie who I had emailed and whose name I had just botched, which seemed catastrophic at the time. The news section put me on my first article – the Eid banquet in the Hall of Presidents hosted by the Muslim Student’s Association. This went horrifically, and in hindsight, I am shocked that I am still on staff to date.

Highlights of this article include my tendency to translate irrelevant Arabic phrases, my use of the word “jovial,” and my quoting of “the woman” who ran a prayer ceremony. The news editors were particularly floored at my presumption that I could quote “the woman” and get away with it. Not so, I learned. 

Despite this train wreck of an article, I continued to write for The

Maroon-News. Writing an article per week, I slowly learned to quote people with their actual names and contact event organizers before going to an event. But becoming a decent “journalist” is not what is most important about my time at The Maroon-News.

I put in substantial hours and for the most part, it paid off. Contributing and volunteering my time allowed me to move up The Maroon-News ladder and get internships as a result of the time I put in to the paper. Because I sat and observed, I was able to easily take the reigns as a section editor and speak eloquently about my skills and experiences in interviews. Those early years taught me that Woody Allen is right, and showing up counts for a lot (for me, it was closer to 100 percent than 80 at that point). I also learned that the road to success is slow and earned – goal achievement and upward movement does not always come when we think we deserve it.  

Now I do more than just “show up.” Beyond my position as Managing Editor, I also have the esteemed responsibility of picking up Slices for the staff meetings each week, which makes me an invaluable staff member in the eyes of many. Kidding aside, while I hope to never again find myself sitting, unoccupied and silent, in a tiny non-air-conditioned attic room for four hours per week, I value the resiliency and persistence with which the situation left me. The Maroon-News is by no measure my favorite part of the last four years, nor even close to my least favorite, but it has been a solid experience, and one that I very much value and in which I take pride when looking back on my experience at Colgate.