During my first few weeks as a freshman at Seton Hall, like many other students, I had no idea where I belonged. I only knew that I wanted to write.
It was during that time that I joined The Setonian. As I write this and reflect on my time with the newspaper, I can hardly believe how being a part of it helped me grow as a person and as a journalist.
I remember the first story I worked on about Aquinas residence hall director Joshua Reda holding a luncheon for residents. When I met with Reda, I was far from a picture of confidence. Even though I was recording the interview, I scrambled to write everything down, unsure what were important details to include in the final piece. With my nose stuck in my notebook, I failed to appreciate the moment.
Thankfully, I had the direction of my editors to give me helpful advice when I submitted the story, and each time after that for the remainder of my freshman year and well into my sophomore year. With this constructive criticism, I gained my footing as a writer.
Halfway through my sophomore year, on New Year’s Eve, I was asked to become editor of the Campus Life section. I have never rang in a new year with more anxiety in my life.
At the start of that spring semester, I did not and could not skip a beat. Coming up with story ideas, designing and creating the layout for my section while working on my own articles became my regular routine.
Much like when I started out as a staff writer, I had only a little practice and much uncertainty. I struggled to think of new ideas for the section and had to deal with a temperamental design program for the layout. In the beginning, there were weeks when I wanted to quit and did not think I could fulfill my obligations as editor.
In time, I grew to see my peers on the editorial board as close friends and became comfortable asking for help when I needed it.
Today, I can say that I would not change a single thing about my journey to becoming editor. The way it happened is reminiscent of the news business. One can never know exactly what is going to happen, but he or she has to be prepared for the wildest possibilities.
My time with The Setonian has led me to tell the stories of many fascinating students, faculty and guests to campus. I firmly believe journalism students should be required to write for the publication, if only because of the great people they will encounter.
Julie Trien is a senior journalism major from Denville, N.J. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.