Stick with it

Emily DiSalvo, Former Arts & Life Editor

Countless times in the past three years, I have asked myself why I keep doing this.

Each week since my first week of freshman year, I have signed up to write an article, sometimes more. Each semester I have tried out for another role, another chance to devote my weeks to writing, interviewing, editing and ultimately telling stories.

For those of you who have been a part of The Chronicle, you know it’s a full-time job. You have classes, internships and other organizations but for some reason you let those 12 pages eat up your weekends and your evenings.

Emily DiSalvo has written over 130 articles for The Chronicle, covering every section. Nicole McIsaac/Chronicle

I have covered multiple other places and institutions since I started at Quinnipiac University, one of which was the United States Congress.

I can confidently say that the reason I kept writing for The Chronicle, despite the exhaustion, the countless interviews and the extra work was because there is no organization that will prepare you for life as a real journalist like this one.

In Washington, D.C., I was working on a piece on the SAFE Banking Act. For those of you outside of the C-SPAN fanatics club, that’s a bill that would allow marijuana dispensaries to use banking services. I needed to speak with the Chair of the Senate Banking Committee Mike Crapo.

He turned out to be a slippery source to pin down. One day, after a committee meeting, I followed him into an elevator, recorder running, and I started asking questions. No rational human being is born knowing how to do this.

I learned how to do this because I once followed a cafeteria employee into the back kitchen of the cafeteria to see whether QU Dining was recycling when writing for The Chronicle.

When my freelance position at the New Haven Independent led me to write a food review, luckily, The Chronicle gave me that experience. Not only was I a skilled critic of Chartwells’ cuisine, but I was well-versed in analyzing New Haven’s pizza scene.

The Chronicle also helped me to become more informed. In the last three years, I have attended more discussions, town halls, rallies and conferences than I can count. I have interviewed people like President Judy Olian, members of the facilities team and students from all walks of life.

I consider myself immensely privileged to have had the chance to learn from these people and these experiences, and I have been motivated in some cases to take action. After hearing the stories of Black students on campus, I decided to write a piece drawing attention to the racism they faced in hopes of affecting change.

Lastly, I have learned so much from the people I have worked alongside in The Chronicle newsroom. You all have an incredible drive, and Quinnipiac is a better place because of your diligence in unveiling the real story behind the 10-point plan.

Thank you Jess Ruderman, Amanda Perelli and Christina Popik for mentoring me as a freshman and encouraging me not to give up (even on the weeks when I had to write the entire news section). The best thing about The Chronicle is the network of hardworking people who have stuck with this organization for no reason other than passion.

So to answer my own question, I kept doing this because even when it feels like I hate it, I love it. Journalism really matters. Whether or not I even continue to do journalism for my career means very little when I consider the lessons I learned here about persistence, versatility and the power of teamwork.

Infographic by Xavier Cullen