My final column

If you have ever flipped open The Charger Bulletin to page six and got upset over something I wrote, you’ll love this column: my last one.

I stressed over my final 500 or so words being the legacy I leave at The Charger Bulletin. This one must be the best thing I’ve ever typed out hours before my Friday night deadline. While sitting for a bit, staring at my screen, hoping that a polished article would appear before my eyes, I reflected on the lessons I’ve learned while being a collegiate journalist. Here are my top three:

Lesson 1: Do it.

In 2020 I direct messaged the Charger Bulletin’s Instagram account asking if they needed more writers. It was my first year at the University of New Haven, and because of the COVID-19 restrictions, I had no friends and figured the newspaper would cure a bit of my boredom. I had never written a single piece of journalism in my life. I had no idea what AP Style was or why I needed to write in it (I’m still not entirely sure), but I wrote my first article anyway, and I’m glad I did.

Two years later, I will be attending graduate school in August to pursue my master’s in journalism. If you are interested in writing for the paper, I do suggest emailing rather than using the Instagram direct message feature.

Lesson 2: People will dislike what you have to say.

I’ve gotten more than a few messages from people upset about something I’ve said. The comment section on our website gets brutal sometimes. Your perspective can and will evolve, but don’t let it be because a few people were mean to you about it. Your opinion is valid if it is grounded in truth.

To the individuals who emailed me all hot and bothered over something I wrote, I want you to know that I did not lose sleep over it – and might have even gotten a laugh while reading.

Lesson 3: The more you write, the better you get at it.

My first few articles for the newspaper were chock full of edits and comments. I was baffled by the newspaper’s structure and how every type of article has a different flow. Sports recaps blend narrative with news, while opinion blurs the line between a conversation and a research paper. I feel as if I have only recently figured out opinion writing, despite doing it every week for a few years now.

I certainly have my favorite articles, but there is not a single piece I would take back because these first tries at journalism were part of the journey. Seeing my growth as a writer is one of the best feelings.

So, here we are now. I depart in less than two weeks and the newspaper will have a big gap on page six. I trust The Charger Bulletin staff will take up my mission from here and as long as the editorial section exists, wreak some havoc.