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

Hello, my name is Catherine

Let’s keep this short and sweet
Megan Wong / Daily Collegian (2021)

Not to be corny, but one of my favorite essays is “Journalism: A Love Story” by Nora Ephron.

While a researcher at Newsweek Magazine, Ephron wrote a New York Post parody so well that the paper offered her a tryout for a reporting job there. She got the job, and after a drink with a Post reporter, they passed the Newsweek building in a taxi on Madison Avenue.

“I looked up at the eleventh floor where the lights were ablaze and I thought to myself, ‘Up there they are closing next week’s edition of Newsweek Magazine, and nobody really gives a damn.’ It was a stunning revelation,” Ephron wrote.

The Collegian feels a little bit like that, too.

Through floor-to-ceiling windows, anyone who walks through the Student Union can see exactly what’s happening inside the Collegian office, but I’d guess most of them don’t care. Besides, what could possibly be so exciting about a student newspaper that isn’t a paper at all?

That’s for a hypothetical student to wonder and for us to understand.


Now to me, if I must.

I’d probably sacrifice my first-born child to use a pseudonym … at least I used to think so.

My first semesters at the Collegian, I was so, so insecure about the quality of my work that any amount of encouragement would have kept me around. It was the bi-weekly emails I received from former editors saying “good work on this one!” that made me think, hey, maybe I can do this.

I read those stories now and think they’re terrible. I hope I feel the same about this one someday.

Those first semesters, I chose Op/Ed because I wouldn’t have to do interviews. I was looking for something easy, but two years later, I’m still searching for it. I didn’t know then how writing for the Collegian would push me to be more open minded and confident in my view of the world. What a lucky thing to find.


Countless senior columns recount tales of students finding a home in the Collegian office. People show up shy and scared and a little bit desperate, but four years later, they turn out to be somewhat capable writers. I like to think the same is true for me too. Slowly, surely, the Collegian turned my college experience around.

So when I look through the windows of the Collegian office, fluorescent lights ablaze, I think about the people inside who really, really give a damn. And I owe them a thank you — to Emma Garber for giving me a shot, to Luke Halpern, Zach Leach, Srija Nagireddy and Asha Baron for being the hardest working editors and to Ella Adams, Lulu Kesin and Colin McCarthy for setting the bar so high.

Journalism is the profession that I’m most and least suited for, but I’m lucky the Collegian has only ever shown me the former. As long as I don’t sell my soul and start writing Twitter copy for an oil company, I think I’ll be alright.

Catherine Hurley was the Op/Ed Editor. She can be reached at [email protected].

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