You get what you give

If you see something you want, go out and grab it


Lauren Crociati

By Lauren Crociati, Arts Editor

If you told me almost four years ago that I would be the arts editor of the Massachusetts Daily Collegian, I think I’d simply say, “Maybe in my dreams.”

It may sound sort of silly to some, that being the head editor of the arts & living section of your school newspaper is a dream, but to me it was. My freshman year I stepped into the Collegian office, the one that I now spend several hours a week in surrounded by walls of past print newspapers and inside jokes of former editors I’ve never met, and absolutely fell in love with the place. I remember sitting on the old brown couches and admiring the four arts editors sitting before me reading off ideas from their individual story lists — ideas that brought out a student’s creativity and gave them freedom in their writing. I noticed the passion each had for simply just being in that office and being with others who felt the same. These were people who cared about what I cared about, and I wanted to be in their position one day more than anything.

Something I learned during college is that you get what you give. The amount of time and effort you put into an endeavor will result in what it gives back to you. I learned that in friendships, in love, in my academics and at the Collegian. Although I had written for the paper since my freshman year, I often found it hard to balance writing and schoolwork, and getting to meetings usually didn’t fit into my schedule. My biggest regret is this, and I wish I had understood the impact putting my full self into the Collegian would have on my college career. I honestly didn’t realize this until my senior year.

I first joined the Collegian after writing an email (and sending it after much indecision and fear of rejection) to the arts editor expressing my hesitation in joining the paper because, as I wrote, “Unfortunately, it is a bit intimidating for me as I have little to no experience with writing journalistic pieces, but I am still very interested in writing about arts and entertainment.”

The response I received was words of encouragement to go down to the office and see what it was all about. I entered that space not knowing a single person and feeling like I didn’t belong. I was wrong of course because, as I have learned, the Collegian is a place open to all. It’s a teaching tool to those who haven’t worked in a newsroom before. My biggest piece of advice I tell to prospective writers is to just go for it. Pitch that one idea you may think is crazy. Write that article about a topic you may know nothing about — like, for example, my first ever Collegian article where I wrote about fall fashion (you can often find me in jeans and a sweatshirt during the fall). Don’t be afraid to do something if it’s what you want, and if it’s in a place where you want to be.

When I now walk into the office, I’m greeted by a casually-sexual joke from Alvin and a long conversation with Touri about our daily struggles and some light-hearted teasing about my inability to make a page in InDesign. I’m supported by an arts staff that puts so much time and dedication into the section, much like the four arts editors I admired as a freshman. Sitting next to my three fellow arts staff members is something I’ll truly miss. Bonding with Chandley about the stress of finishing our senior thesis. Talking with Jake about our similar interest in magazine writing. Laughing with Lauren about some movie reference I probably didn’t understand. The three people that sat beside me helping keep the arts section alive are just the people I imagined sitting in front of on those old brown couches. I have them to thank for making being arts editor such a rewarding experience.

It’s crazy to think that a newspaper would have such an impact on my life. The Collegian isn’t just a place to get your words published or to utilize your journalistic skills, it’s a family of like-minded individuals who don’t mind spending hours in the basement of the Campus Center if it means the paper will be published with quality the next day. It’s a place I go to be surrounded by the people I wish I met sooner. To the Collegian and every person who has impacted my experience in it, past and present, thank you. I think you could say my little college dream came true.

Lauren Crociati was the arts editor of the Collegian and can be reached at [email protected]