The Observer is a student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame, Saint Mary's & Holy Cross. Learn about us.



Why write for the Observer?

| Friday, August 19, 2022

When I walked onto campus as a first year in 2019, I had this belief that I was going to do everything. I had written for my high school newspaper and had my eyes set on writing for the Observer. I was an intense lacrosse player my entire life and planned on trying out for Notre Dame’s club lacrosse team. I was ready for what college had to offer, and I was planning on taking advantage of every single opportunity that was presented to me. But a week went by and then a month. By the end of fall semester I had done nothing more than put my name on a few club email lists.

When spring semester rolled around, I was excited to finally start up again. Now that I knew the ropes of campus and had at least a few friends, I was excited to try new things. But just like the fall, I let time slip away. “I’ll join clubs when I’m a sophomore, and I am no longer the youngest member,” I kept telling myself. March 2020 changed my plans. With just a duffle bag of clothes, I flew home for spring break not to return for 5 months. 

If I were in your shoes, what would I do differently?

I would join the Observer right away (I mean this article is at least a little bit of a plug for the university’s best newspaper). 

I’m only half kidding. In all honesty, I would actually have joined the clubs that I kept telling myself I was going to join. Looking back now, the fact that I was too embarrassed to go down the dark stairs to the South Dining hall basement to find a group of people who I would love is absurd. But I was 18 and I cared too much about what other people thought about me. 

What they don’t warn you about college is that fall semester of freshman year is lonely, so lonely. You make friends just as quickly as you lose them, but I promise you, everyone else is going through the same thing as you. Yes, the upperclassmen might seem scary at first, but I promise you, they are more than excited to take the first years under their wing (plus many of them have cars which will quickly become a hot commodity for you). 

So, join The Observer. If journalism doesn’t float your boat, maybe our photography division will. If you have any interest at all in writing, we have a spot for you. While at the start of this article my byline will be tagged with Associate Sports Editor, I didn’t start in that role. I found the wonders of student journalism through a friend who texted me on a whim needing a column. I never wrote a sports piece before, but after one favor, I did another, and quickly I was writing a few articles and columns a semester. Then, I started editing for her (originally as a favor again). All of this was because I was too chicken to do anything on my own.

Don’t be like me

First years, what you will quickly learn is that whatever plan you have for college now will not last. If you asked me four years ago if I would be writing sports articles over opinion pieces or news, I would laugh in your face. But here I am, with a fancy tag to my name! My roommate of two years had planned on going to medical school for her entire life. This was up until the end of junior year where she entirely switched life paths. I took Arabic on a whim as well, and three years later it’s my second major. If you’re reading this now, write down your goals for college, and what you expect to be like when you graduate. Then, tuck it somewhere you won’t look until your senior year. I hope you will be able to open it one day and appreciate both what you had planned and how different everything turned out.

I promise you these four years will pass right by you if you let them. It’s cheesy, I know, but the first year will go by in a blink of an eye. The next two years are even faster. Find your place on campus, whether it be south quad, the bouldering wall in Duncan student center, or the messy basement of South Dining Hall where we will be waiting to welcome you to our 57-year tradition of independent student journalism. 

Tags: , , , ,

About Olivia Schatz

Contact Olivia