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

From crayons to Canva

Follow your heart and follow us on Instagram
Vera Gold / Daily Collegian

Some things just come full circle.

The version of myself that is leaving the University of Massachusetts eerily echoes the version of myself that entered elementary school. I realize now that I really did have a fantastic childhood; I find myself trying to recreate it in moments when I need the extra nostalgia.

My time at the Daily Collegian allowed me to toe the line between my childhood passions and my baby steps into adulthood. I joined in my sophomore year, shortly after leaving the computer science major in pursuit of a communications degree. My career prospects had suddenly muddled themselves into something I couldn’t quite make sense of, but I didn’t care. For the first time in a long time, I finally felt like I was listening to my heart rather than my head.

Storytelling always felt as natural as breathing to me. I’d work with construction paper and crayons for hours as a child, creating my own works of fiction. Writing, art and creation always brought a smile to my face. Sitting in my childhood bedroom in the COVID-riddled fall semester of 2020, I decided that I wanted to fill the rest of my college experience with as many of those things as possible.

A Facebook post advertising an open social media role kickstarted my Collegian career. After a cold email and a FaceTime call, I was hired and onboarded as the Collegian’s newest assistant social media editor. Although I was just one assistant staff member in an organization of many, I woke up on each of my assigned posting days feeling important. I had a digital paper route, and it was my job to make sure that I delivered the latest stories to each of our followers.

I continue to feel that sense of importance as I wrap up my second full year as the Collegian’s head social media editor. It’s a wonderful feeling to engage with the UMass community through virtual means. My favorite moments are when I get to share the works of my friends and colleagues. Promotion is one of the coolest skills I have in my professional toolbox. What’s better than seeing hard work get the recognition and audience that it deserves?

The Collegian has intertwined itself deeply into my UMass experience. I can’t remember the last time I sat in a lecture hall and didn’t have my laptop screen filled to the brim with Slack messages, Canva templates, Tweetdeck tabs and Instagram notifications. I have memories of being stuck in brushfire-induced traffic on Route 128, sitting on a couch at a birthday party in a Manhattan apartment, being in the student section at the Mullins Center during a UMass Hockey game (with horrible Internet service), standing in the infamous Spoke line and hurriedly editing together captions and photos to make sure the latest breaking news story or special issue was promoted on the Collegian’s social media in time.

I want to give a special thank you to our dedicated Collegian audience. Your readership and engagement have made our storytelling even more worthwhile. Your likes, your comments, your messages, your reposts and retweets and reshares … I’ve seen them all, and I’ve seen the power in them. @MDCollegian is nowhere near Charli D’Amelio’s level of influence, but we could get there one day.

To my Collegian colleagues, both past and present, I am in awe of what we have accomplished and will continue to accomplish. You’ve made my time at the Collegian one of the loveliest professional experiences I’ve ever had. Because of the Collegian, I’ve grown so much as a leader, as an editor, as a communicator and as a friend.

With the amount of academic and professional creativity I was able to unleash during my undergraduate career, I know my childhood self would be so happy to know that I trusted my passions. I’m able to graduate from UMass knowing that I gave it my all doing things that I loved.

I’ve learned that you can pick a college major that aligns with hobbies you’ve had since you were 5 years old, you can be hired as a Collegian social media editor because of a social media post, and you can still work at one of the biggest tech companies in the world without a computer science degree.

Some things really do come full circle.

Vera Gold was the social media editor. She can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @veraagoldd.

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