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We are prepared

Jenn Metz | Friday, May 14, 2010

My entire college experience has been defined by my work at The Observer. One of my freshman year roommates was reminiscing the other day, and remembered how excited I was to have my first article on the front page, and how late I stayed in the office to earn a measly $10 paycheck.

It wasn’t about the money, though. It was about being involved with something important, about being part of a group. I think in high school we all had several of those places, teams and clubs that gave us that feeling. And even though at Notre Dame we call each other part of the same family, it was so nice to have a smaller part of that family to grow close with.

Working at The Observer has not been the easiest job. I couldn’t go five minutes without checking my e-mail, without making sure I knew everything that was going on, without having the feeling that I was in control of what was going on at the paper.

What I’ve learned, however, is that no matter how hard you try, it’s impossible to be in control of everything. I couldn’t be in control of when the University announced President Obama would speak last year at Commencement; I couldn’t be in control of every word, cartoon and photograph that printed in the paper. I’ve realized these things now, but while I was in the moment I was stressed and sleep-deprived.

Though I can’t turn back time to relive the excitement of the freshman with her first article on the front page and approach my career at The Observer differently, I can take the lessons I’ve learned here with me in my next steps in life. I think they are lessons that can help several of the members of the Class of 2010, especially those with uncertain futures.

No matter what happened, we still got a paper out everyday. We couldn’t control everything, but in the end, it all worked out.  Other aspects of my Notre Dame education have contributed to this outlook: the sense of family here — no matter what happens you will have people you can turn to for help — and the strong faith shared by our classmates that guides our decisions. We can’t control the future, but after attending Notre Dame, we are prepared to face whatever happens next.

I would like to thank The Observer and the wonderful staff I’ve worked with over the years for teaching me that. I would like to thank my parents for agreeing to send me to a school so far away and encouraging me to calm down when I am too stressed. I would especially like to thank the friends I’ve made here, that I’m able to reminisce with, for making the last four years truly unforgettable — no matter what the future holds.

Jenn Metz is a senior from Westfield, N.J., graduating Magna Cum Laude with a double major in English and Romance Languages and Literature and a minor in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. She served as Editor-in-Chief of The Observer from 2009-2010. She will be working at ABC News in Manhattan.