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I used to be a pretty quiet person. I would open up to talk or laugh when I was with family or good friends, but I was more tentative when interacting with other people. I think the cause was a mixture of introversion and a fear of saying something stupid or embarrassing. I still identify as an introvert, but I definitely got over those other reservations, and The Chronicle helped me do that.
I’m not a journalism or communications student, but it didn’t take long on the newspaper staff for me to figure out that journalism is such an important freedom in society. Despite what we may hear lately in today’s political climate, journalists seek to tell the truth. A good journalist knows how to speak up, and they know when to speak up. When Hamden changed its policies about landlord and student tenants, The Chronicle wrote about it. When Quinnipiac’s Student Government budget came under question, we wrote about it. When the rugby team won the national championship, we wrote about it. When the rugby team didn’t get as much attention from school administration as the men’s ice hockey team, we wrote about it. When there was a cute dog on campus, we wrote about it.
Students on The Chronicle aren’t like how I was in high school: sitting at a lunch table agonizing over whether or not to say something that they think is interesting, funny, shocking, relevant or important. They say it. They’re not reckless with the content they publish, of course, because they’ve also been trained to seek out facts, reputable sources and different perspectives, which is incredibly important in the process of learning how and when to speak up.
I learned this process from my time with The Chronicle, a long journey from staff writer to Arts & Life Editor to Copy Editor that I can’t believe is coming to an end. I don’t always speak up successfully, but I’m working on it. I learn more from the times when I go too far and say something too strong or wrong, rather than when I stay quiet and then ruminate for hours or even days about what I should have said.
Because of The Chronicle, I’ve become more confident in myself and what I have to say. I’m more willing to share my thoughts with those around me. I talk about things that affect me, Quinnipiac, the United States and the world. If anything, I don’t know when to keep an opinion or emotion to myself (and I think some fellow Chronicle members can attest to that). Being open, honest, thoughtful and informed is key, and I’ll forever be grateful to this newspaper for helping me realize that.
Congratulations to the other hard-working, graduating seniors, and thank you to everyone I’ve met through The Chronicle for supporting me, writing cool things and learning their comma rules (for the most part). Good luck next year!