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viewpoint

Take a chance on us

| Monday, March 8, 2021

If there is anything I have learned in the past year, it is that life is unpredictable. I know this is not groundbreaking —  by now, all of humanity has had plenty of time to come to this same realization.

Around a year ago, almost to the day, we were all leaving for spring break — most of us blissfully unaware of what was about to come. I visited a friend in Washington, D.C., and few days later, I was stuck there, unable to return home to Ecuador until the end of May.

Uncertainty has since forced its way into my life. If I had been at all successful before in controlling every aspect of my life with innumerable planners and to-do lists, all of a sudden, I was not in control. I had no books and no planner — only a carry-on suitcase and no way to get back home.

As the year went by, countless things continued to move beyond my control, inching away little by little. And so, for a semester I meant to spend abroad, I came back to the U.S., encumbered with COVID-related anxiety and an increasing list of losses I felt undeserving of mourning so intensely.

Little by little, however, I also began to accept and embrace all of the uncertainty. Make no mistake — for someone like me, learning to be OK with uncertainty is not a linear process, and it sucks.

See, in the midst of all of these goodbyes and all of this letting go, I also had the fortune to find new people to say hello to and new things to hold on to. I reached out to outgoing Editor-in-Chief Maria Leontaras because I was itching to get more involved at The Observer. And, true to her Marmee March persona, she warmly welcomed me into their little family.

The dedication, kindness and guidance of my peers, editors and friends has been inspiring. Life-giving, even. Each, in their own way, took a chance on me — not a veteran, just a girl with big dreams and big plans that kept falling through. They let me tweet, write news, do production, research archives and tell stories. A few months later, they took a chance on me again when I was elected as Editor-in-Chief for the 2021-2022 term.

My Observer family made me feel like what I did mattered, even when I felt like my efforts to live out my day-to-day to the fullest were pointless and futile. Working at The Observer for the past year has given me a sense of purpose without which I could not have made it through.

As we remember the more than half a million people who have died of COVID-19 in the U.S., as we continue to mourn Annrose, Olivia and Valeria, as we grieve the death of former Irish football player Louis Nix III — I am reminded of a bitter truth that a friend shared with me late last semester: “Tragedy is not contained to a calendar year.”

And we cannot stop future tragedy. Unfortunately, life is unpredictable — painfully so. But in the midst of this uncertainty, our community can thrive if we continue to lean on each other.

Dear reader: Just as I took a chance on The Observer and its people took a chance on me, I hope you can take a chance on us, too. Trust those of us behind the scenes — we who are your classmates, friends, roommates, students, mentees, sons, daughters and grandchildren — to continue doing our very best in scary, unpredictable times.

Trust us to keep covering sports and how they are adapting to the pandemic, the University’s COVID response and our new normal. Trust us to tell you what shows you should and should not watch while you are waiting for test results, and what Calm bedtime stories are worth falling asleep to. Trust us to share your thoughts about everything from leggings to politics, with the tri-campus and the world.

The Observer is full of passionate student journalists juggling college life and schoolwork — which, on its own, is a lot. Now, they do so during a pandemic, in the middle of an economic recession, in a divided country with wounds that run deep. 

And we still strive to seek the truth and report it accurately. So trust us to do so. Take a chance on The Observer — maybe you will find that, together, we can ensure this uncertain, unpredictable world makes a lot more sense.

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

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About Adriana Perez

Adriana is a Notre Dame senior from Guayaquil, Ecuador, majoring in political science and minoring in the Gallivan Program of Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. She is currently serving as Editor-in-Chief of The Observer for the 2021-2022 term. You can find her at @adrianamperezr on Twitter.

Contact Adriana