Scrolling Headlines:

UMass football readies for season-opener against Hawaii -

August 22, 2017

UMass women’s soccer falls to Central Connecticut 3-0 in home opener -

August 19, 2017

Preseason serves as opportunity for young UMass men’s soccer players -

August 13, 2017

Amherst Fire Department website adds user friendly components and live audio feed -

August 11, 2017

UMass takes the cake for best campus dining -

August 11, 2017

Two UMass students overcome obstacles to win full-ride scholarships -

August 2, 2017

The guilt of saying ‘guilty’ -

August 2, 2017

UMass tuition set to rise 3-4 percent for 2017-2018 school year -

July 18, 2017

PVTA potential cuts affect UMass and five college students -

July 10, 2017

New director of student broadcast media at UMass this fall -

July 10, 2017

Whose American Dream? -

June 24, 2017

Man who threatened to bomb Coolidge Hall taken into ICE custody -

June 24, 2017

Cale Makar drafted by Colorado Avalanche in first round of 2017 NHL Entry Draft -

June 24, 2017

Conservatives: The Trump experiment is over -

June 17, 2017

UMass basketball lands transfer Kieran Hayward from LSU -

May 18, 2017

UMass basketball’s Donte Clark transferring to Coastal Carolina -

May 17, 2017

Report: Keon Clergeot transfers to UMass basketball program -

May 15, 2017

Despite title-game loss, Meg Colleran’s brilliance in circle was an incredible feat -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball loses in heartbreaker in A-10 title game -

May 14, 2017

Navy sinks UMass women’s lacrosse 23-11 in NCAA tournament second round, ending Minutewomen’s season -

May 14, 2017

My two years of survival

(Danny Cordova)

Another school year has come and gone. Unlike the past few years, this year happens to be my senior year and now I’m set to make that big leap to the adult world. But, for me, this semester was a tough one, not only because I decided to take 16 credits while working three jobs but also I was supposed to prepare to inherit the responsibilities of entering “the real world” after graduation.

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve gone through a “quarter-life crisis,” a phenomenon affecting people in their early 20s when they are faced with the real world and the stresses and fears that accompany them.

Being a student journalist feels like I’m constantly switching into two lives. In one, I’m trying so hard to cover news events to build up my résumé while in the other, I’m churning up assignments on nights before the deadline. I oversleep in the morning and miss classes and come up with as many excuses as I can to the people I’ve disappointed. Maintaining those two things never really worked as well as I hoped. And because of that, my grades and my physical and mental health suffered. It got so bad to the point that even I slipped up on writing due to the overwhelming shock of it all.

I’ve been burnt out, battered and beaten. I’ve also gotten old. And no, not that feeling that almost every 18-year-old goes through when they realize their favorite cartoon show originally aired in double-digit years. It’s the kind of getting old feeling that is only caused by balancing these two lives at an equal level. And sometimes, getting real world experience becomes more important to me than getting an essay in on time.

It was rough, for sure. And there were times when I just wanted to quit everything. But if there is one takeaway from my time with the Massachusetts Daily Collegian and at the University of Massachusetts, it is to learn to accept responsibility for my actions, to know that it has consequences and to ask for help when in need. These things, to me, are my main survival techniques. Sometimes it’s difficult to follow these techniques, whether it’s a matter of pride or just out of complete stupidity. I know I’m not an expert at these things and there is much more that I could learn, but I know the support I’ve received from my friends at the Collegian have been beneficial.

Whether it is the support received from past and current editors or the laughs shared in our windowless basement office, I felt a sense of belonging during my times spent as a news writer for the Collegian.

In addition, my confidence as a reporter grew and my ability to write, a skill that I struggled with during elementary and middle school, strengthened. And no matter how mind-boggling a night on desk could be (I still remember the Student Government Association election) I am reminded of seemingly endless support and good times that this work could bring to a guy.

Despite the rough and rugged journey with many unexpected turns peppered throughout, I value my brief time at UMass. I have gained something so invaluable that no scholarship or grant could match. While I know there will be more difficult moments, I gained the confidence to take on any situation head-on with a little help from my friends.

Danny Cordova was an assistant news editor and can be reached at dcordova@umass.edu and followed on Twitter @DannyJCordova.

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