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Observer fever

Sam Stryker | Friday, March 25, 2011

On Wednesday night, I had a minor crisis in The Observer offices: we ran out of purple pens. Normally, this would not be an issue. Purple isn’t even my favorite color — blue is, if you were wondering. In fact, I do not even own one purple article of clothing, including underwear (I just checked). Why was the absence of purple ink in my life such a travesty? Simple: Justin Bieber’s favorite color is purple.

This time last year, the Biebs was a celebrity, but certainly no superstar. I remember one time in the spring, a high-pitched voice emanated from the radio in the fourth floor bathroom of Knott Hall. At first, I thought I was listening to any run of the mill female pop star. I was mistaken — it was Justin. Justin was something for preteen girls, like my little sister, but not me.

Over time, however, I came down with the (Bieber) Fever, and I came down with it hard. Between hearing his jams at parties, dances, even the dining hall, the little Canuck with swag grew on me. Never say never … to try something you previously discounted.

This is not the only time I made the mistake of rejecting something I would end up loving. Coffee? I used to scoff at my friend Maureen for drinking it every day. Now I practically have a Starbucks opened in my stomach. During high school, I made a point of not wearing jeans because I thought they gave me a rash. Today? Well, let’s just say I have been wearing the same pair of jeans the last three days. The biggest thing I have tried which I previously rejected was the Bat House at the Bronx Zoo. My mother had to drag me in, kicking and screaming. Yet to this day, I am obsessed with all things creepy and crawly.

The reason I am rambling about Justin Bieber and my grungy jeans is because you wouldn’t be reading this inside column if it wasn’t for me giving things I previously rejected a chance. In high school, most of my friends wrote for our school newspaper. At one point or another, they all told me I should write for the newspaper. I listened — sort of. At the time, I thought journalism was for people who liked to write a little bit too much.

However, when I came to Notre Dame, I suddenly had a lot more free hours in my day. It took me a while to figure out how to use them, but eventually, I decided to give The Observer a shot. It sucked me in, and as cliché as it sounds, my life hasn’t been the same ever since. There has been lost sleep, hair pulled out, and missed social opportunities, but I love what I do here.

I guess what I am trying to say is this — it may be a prepubescent teenybopper, or maybe the independent student publication at one of the most prestigious universities in America. Regardless of what the opportunity is, give it a chance. You never know what you’re going to get out of it.

Now excuse me while I go and find some purple pens.

The views expressed in the Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

Contact Sam Stryker at sstryke1@nd.edu