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It was worth it

| Friday, February 26, 2016

“It starts as a club, then it becomes a job. And then it turns into an obsession.”

Ann Marie Jakubowski, my predecessor as Editor-in-Chief, said those words about The Observer on the very first night of her term in February 2014, and I’ve thought of them often ever since, especially as my time as Editor has drawn to a close.

Those words perfectly sum up my experience at The Observer, as they do for so many others, I think.

When I look back over the past four years and count the hours of my time I have devoted to this newspaper, I’m amazed. After all, it just doesn’t seem logical how much energy, talent and time my colleagues and I poured into this newspaper every day.

And yet, all the same, I don’t feel as though I wasted my time at The Observer. I’m not ashamed of trying so hard on an endeavor that took so much and gave so little.

I’m not ashamed, because I truly do believe this newspaper is an invaluable good to the Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s community. It creates dialogue, provides a forum, goes in-depth on issues and holds those in power accountable. It is worth obsessing over.

If The Observer were nothing more than an extracurricular activity, if it were simply a training ground, then all the time each staffer puts in would not be worth it. It would not be worth the attention of the students, professors, administrators, staff members and others in this community.

Thankfully, the people who work at The Observer care about the University and College. They care so much they are willing to point out mistakes or flaws when they are present, just as they are willing to celebrate all that makes our community so unique.

And that’s ultimately why so many of the people who work and have worked at The Observer gradually became obsessed with it; to care about The Observer and the work it does is to care for the Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s community. That’s why I’m proud of all the time I spent on this newspaper, and why I am so excited to see what the future holds for it.

It started as a club. Then it was a job. Somewhere along the line it turned into an obsession.

It introduced me to some of the best people I will ever know, then made me want to scream at them when we were still working at 5 a.m. Then it made us friends, because you can’t spend that much time together and not be friends.

It took years off my life, stressed me out beyond belief and kept me in the basement of South Dining Hall an absolutely unreasonable amount of time.

It was worth it.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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About Greg Hadley

Greg Hadley is a senior from Rockville, Maryland, majoring in political science with a minor in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. He served as The Observer's Editor-in-Chief for the 2015-2016 term and currently covers Notre Dame baseball and women's basketball.

Contact Greg