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A little over 500 words

| Friday, May 21, 2021

After the year we’ve had, I should have more than enough content to fill this column.

But oddly enough, I don’t really know what to say.

Hiding in the news department, I’m not really used to writing my own opinions and allowing other people to judge my thoughts. I’ve always dreaded Inside Columns, and I tended to stop typing the second I hit 500 words. Honestly, sometimes I couldn’t even make it to 500 words, and I hoped the Viewpoint Editor just wouldn’t notice. I have always preferred listening over speaking myself.

But I wanted to force myself to write one last column in honor of my time at The Observer.

I never intended on becoming so involved with the paper. I distinctly remember meeting the Notre Dame News Editor my freshman year and wondering why anyone would want to do so much work in addition to attending classes.

Yet somehow, I found myself in that position three years later.

While I won’t be pursuing journalism in my career, I have developed a profound respect for reporters. Journalists work around the clock to deliver timely and accurate news to readers and viewers. In the digital age, reporting never ceases, and I do not know how full-time journalists function. I’m not going into journalism, which is good, because I could not do it.

I have never doubted my own capabilities more than the last year as Notre Dame News Editor. To those who criticized or complained about our news department content in the last year over email or social media, I read all your messages. I know you were disappointed at times.

I’m still incredibly grateful for the opportunity though, and I thank the people who thought I was qualified enough for this position. I genuinely loved speaking to people involved in different departments and activities across campus and hearing their stories. I loved seeing students, faculty and staff light up while telling me about a research project they’re working on, a show they had been rehearsing for months or an initiative they created with their friends. I also loved meeting with the news department every Sunday and getting to know my staff.

Although my heart rate still picks up a little when I see a text or email notification, fearing a complaint or an emergency, I am grateful I served a year as Notre Dame News Editor.

I definitely got off to a rocky start as a freshman at Notre Dame, and I will say that I was not always happy here. In fact, I was probably sad and frustrated far more than I was content.

But I appreciate the friends I made and the professors I had who were passionate about their fields of study. I did not expect my Notre Dame experience to be quite like it was, but I think I ended up in the right place to learn the things I needed to.

I’m almost at 500 words, so it’s time for me to wrap things up. Goodbye Observer. Goodbye Notre Dame. Thanks for a good four years.

Serena Zacharias is graduating with a degree in neuroscience and behavior and a minor in journalism, ethics and democracy. In the fall, she will be attending the Medical College of Wisconsin. She can be contacted at [email protected]

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

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About Serena Zacharias

Serena is a member of the class of 2021 majoring in Neuroscience and Behavior and minoring in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. She hails from the great cheese state of Wisconsin and is a former ND News Editor for The Observer.

Contact Serena