Did everyone you know tell you that college would be the best time of your life? Or at least be one of the best times of your life? They said you would meet new people, live in a new city and finally start taking interesting classes. I heard all these things during my senior year of high school and well into my freshman year of college.
But they were wrong. You go from having an established group of friends to an unknown place with a different support system than what you had in the past. I struggled my freshman year of college with homesickness, loneliness and lack of belonging.
I struggled to understand my purpose at UP, and I longed to find a community at UP that I could be a part of.
This all changed when my mom sent me a recruitment video for The Beacon in the spring of my freshman year. I thought, “Huh, this seems interesting. I could learn to write better and improve my professional development.”
Fast-forward to the spring of my junior year, I’m currently the News and Managing Editor for The Beacon and will be the 2019-20 Editor-in-Chief.
Joining The Beacon was the single-handedly best decision I made in college. It’s why I believe if you have a desire to improve your skills in writing, photography, communication or videography skills, then you should join The Beacon.
I grew playing sports and always had teammates to rely on or a coach to mentor me. I know a lot of UP students who had a similar experience growing up. Well, at The Beacon we more or less work like a sports team. We have regular meetings, support one another, collaborate together, problem-solve and actively work towards a common goal: to be the student voice on campus.
I came into The Beacon with absolutely no skills in journalism. What I did come into The Beacon with was a desire to learn, improve and a sense of curiosity. It’s not easy to come to weekly meetings, set up interviews, write stories, take pictures or make videos, but if it’s not hard, then you aren’t learning.
Some of the stories we have written have also greatly impacted this campus. As I’m sure many of you know, the Wallys Awards opinion piece last year deeply influenced changes campus-wide. Other stories like the coverage of the Fr. Paul Scalia protest last fall highlighted issues on campus that are important to UP students, faculty and staff.
But apart from the hard-hitting news we do, we also like to have fun with our work. We joke around during meetings or have our weekly Kahoot news quizzes to stay up-to-date on current worldly news. We make fun videos like the overrated and underrated of UP. We write columns about how to be single on Valentine’s Day or write funny opinions about open-faced sandwiches not actually being a sandwich.
Having written numerous stories on a variety of topics, I can attest to the amount of knowledge you gain about the UP community just from going out and talking to people. The Beacon is a great way to meet new people aside from the staff. Reporters often tell me about the people they’ve met, the organizations or services they learned about or policies on campus they wouldn’t have otherwise known about if it wasn’t for working at The Beacon.
While I can tell you how great working for The Beacon truly is, you will never know until you actually work for this organization.
I want to invite you to apply for a position if you’re interested in writing, reporting, photography, videography, meeting new people or looking for a community.
It was the best decision I made, and I want it to be the best decision you make as well. If you have any questions or want to talk about working for The Beacon, feel free to reach out to me.
Applications close March 31. You can apply here.
Claire Desmarais is the news and managing editor for The Beacon. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.