Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

When it all comes full circle

Thanks for the ‘meme-ories’
Devyn Giannetti

When I was a freshman in high school, I was sitting in Spanish class trying my hardest to pay attention to a grammar lesson that was of no interest to me. Halfway through class, a student volunteer walked into the room and announced that the yellow note in her hand was for me.

The note read, “First newspaper meeting is today after school. I’ll be picking you up at 4, and look forward to hearing how it goes.” The note was from my mother, and I could tell from its undertones that I didn’t really have a choice in the matter and that I shouldn’t dare try to hop on the bus come 3 p.m.

So I walked into the journalism classroom, signed up for my first story (a reflection piece on growing up with a sibling who has special needs) and grabbed 10 copies of the paper once my name was published in print. I reserved a spot for them in my dresser drawer.

I had to improvise as the bylines kept increasing, and the 32-page issues continued to pile up. Four years later, I was the editor and on top of the world. I spent every day in the office writing, learning and growing.

I took that high with me to the University of Dayton, but during my year and a half there, I struggled to find my place at the Flyer News newspaper. Stories were pushed on to me regardless of my interest, and the paper was only published every other week. For the first time in my life, I felt a disconnect with journalism.

My transfer to the University of Massachusetts was full of confusion and hope. All I knew was that I needed to get involved with the journalism department and the Massachusetts Daily Collegian as soon as possible.

I called my mom the night before classes started: “What if it’s just like Dayton? What if I don’t get to pick what I want to write about and don’t feel like I belong?”

She was firm in her convictions. “You’re just going to walk down there, introduce yourself to everyone you see and write as much as you can.”

Her words were reassuring, and I walked into the Collegian office. There were only a few lights on as I sat down for my first Opinion and Editorial meeting. I met Maral Margossian, who showed me that I was a strong writer and had the potential I needed to succeed at the Collegian.

The position of editor in chief has changed who I am as a person. It has taught me how to be more level-headed, how to pick my battles and how to solve conflict. It has challenged me in the toughest of times, and given me some of the biggest rewards.

I have spent way too much time in the office and with the people within it to ever forget it. I can be myself with those around me, I can sleep on the couches at 3 a.m. and I can yell my stupid jokes as loud as possible. I have learned not to take myself too seriously.

Everything has come full circle. I was editor in high school, and now I’m editor again. I’m still struggling in Spanish class.

And my mom is still a light pushing me through the darkness — the unknown. For her, I have so much to thank. She is a powerful woman who has shown me that I can do anything, and that I am well prepared for any struggle that comes my way.

There are too many people in the office to thank. Everyone has brought a smile to my face, and the love and passion for journalism in this windowless office is so apparent and so real. While I was only able to work at the Collegian for two years, my love for the Collegian is bursting through the seams, and what is currently my home will soon only be somewhere I visit.

I am honored to be a guest.

Devyn Giannetti was Editor in Chief and can be reached at [email protected] or followed on Twitter @Devyn_Giannetti.

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