There’s no other organization on campus I’d rather be a part of

By Nick Souza

(Nick Souza)

After three years here at the Daily Collegian, my only regret as graduation looms for me is that I didn’t have a fourth.

I came into the Collegian with no prior journalism experience or knowledge of AP style writing, the inverted pyramid or how to carry myself in an interview or press conference.

I still remember how reluctant I was to take a story at first as I attended my first couple of sports section meetings and remained mostly quiet. I also remember finally getting up enough courage to write my first football notebook for the section after two or three meetings.

That first notebook got really carved up. I think it was pretty clear to then assistant sports editor Ross Gienieczko that I had very little idea of what I was doing—and for the record I went back and saw the amount of edits he had to do for that notebook, and let’s just say I’ve come a long way.

I guess the fact that I’m now in the same position Ross was three years ago shows that no learning curve is too steep to climb. Success is not the absence of failure, but the willingness to learn from it.

My only real motivation at the start was the fact that I liked sports and I liked to write, and being a sports writer for a student newspaper seemed like a pretty logical choice for me.

At first I expected it to be just a casual extra curricular activity that I could write a few stories here and there for. I had no idea that I would eventually end up in the position I am today and end up loving what I do for the Collegian so much.

I never thought that this paper would take me to Frozen Fenway to cover the Massachusetts hockey team, or that it would put me within feet of ESPN host Chris Berman stopping by for the UMass football team’s annual spring game.

I certainly didn’t think I would be so dedicated as to drive to the cities of Boston, Hartford and Providence to cover hockey games.

My time here has introduced me to some of the nicest and most interesting people that I’ve met through out my time here at the University.

I will always have a love-hate relationship with the late nights on desk and the software tools we were forced to use (at this point the dealing with both InDesign and WordPress has really become a toss up).

However, no matter how inconvenient working until 1:00 or 2:00 a.m. on some nights were the people I had a chance to work and spend it with always made it better.

While I only got three years out of it, I am thankful to have stumbled across the little dungeon in the Campus Center that we call our office.

For an office that has no windows, it never once felt like a dark place. Even on nights when I had an assignment due or an exam to study for, a small part of me always looked forward to being part of another production night. I always look forward to seeing the Collegian staff again.

I don’t know what the future holds for me or if I’ll ever work in journalism again, but I know I’ll always value my time here. There’s no other organization on campus I would have rather been a part of.

Nicholas Souza was an assistant sports editor and the OpEd senior producer and can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @nicksouza27.