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Time at The Observer

Joseph McMahon | Monday, April 12, 2010

I first started working at The Observer during my freshman year. After high school, I wanted to try something new, and I figured the paper would offer me the opportunity to see all different parts of campus.

During my first year, I worked more on the newspaper than at my schoolwork. After botching a quote so badly that the editors needed to publish an official apology, I decided to work harder and took as many stories as I could.

But the initial enthusiasm I had freshman year slowly began to give way to total apathy.

Most nights editing the paper can long, and too much time in the basement of South Dining Hall can be soul crushing. After spending a semester abroad, I began to question why I would bother to spend so much time working at something that I hated.

While I still loved writing and reporting, I was afraid that the newspaper was conflicting too much with my studies, and I wanted to do other things during my time at college.

But after a semester when I did not spend a lot of time working at the paper — especially compared to how much time I had spent working there in the past — I realized that The Observer is honestly one of the best opportunities on campus.

In addition to having the chance cover almost any story you want, you really have the opportunity to learn about Notre Dame’s history while still being able to see where its future is headed.

Sure, there are times when I really do wish that I did not have to write a story or spend a night editing the paper, and at times the extra workload can make a stressful life even more hectic. But the rewards that I get from working at the paper far exceed what I have to put into it.

The reporting aspect allows me to explore different parts of the University and keeps me current on what is going on, while actually writing has helped improve my English skills.

However, one of the coolest aspects of The Observer is that it really allows you to meet the people that are involved in the day-to-day life of the University. From student leaders to administration officials to just people involved in the day-to-day life of the University, The Observer gives students the opportunity to meet the people who shape the “Notre Dame bubble.”

I really could never imagine Notre Dame without the Observer — my experience at the newspaper has completely shaped my experience at the University.