Oswego State is known for its sunset on the lake, but I will never forget the feeling of seeing the sunrise on my walks back from a long night at The Oswegonian office my sophomore year as an assistant news editor.
Now three years, over a hundred bylines and fortunately earlier nights later, when people ask what my favorite place on campus is there is no question that I will say, “The Gonian.” Not only because I spent more hours there than any other place, but it is because of what it does to a person.
The Oswegonian is the best example of a love/hate relationship. No matter how much you put your love into it, it can never love you back and although you hate it sometimes, you always come back for more.
The office is always cluttered, no matter how much you clean it. For anyone who forgets deodorant, it is unforgiving and the florescent lights play this awful trick on you that makes it seem like it is always 4 p.m. This seems awful now that it is in words, but there is one reason why this cluttered, window-less office is my favorite place to be.
It is because there is no other place like it.
We do not answer to a publisher or meet any type of quota. We do what we want. Every word and page is ours and it is our hard work, passion and pride in it that makes us sacrifice our GPAs and time away from friends to put out a better newspaper every week.
We leave the office at the end of the week, tired, stressed and preparing ourselves to return the next week just like year after year. Alumni return to see the office because for some reason, no one can get enough of it.
It is where staff bonding becomes natural because that is what happens when you are in the same office with people for ten hours at a time. Although some people might frustrate you or annoy you to no end, you know at the end of the day you would do anything for that person because they share your unique experience.
The column “In the Office” is not only to give graduating seniors an opportunity to write a sappy article because it is their last, it is to showcase the opinions of the people who are crazy enough to work in The Oswegonian office.
When I first came to the office, four years ago, I wanted to be a journalist. After I wrote my first article, I saw what a time commitment it was and how much time it took away from schoolwork so I left it for a month. It was not until one of the seniors at the time reached out to me and encouraged me to come back. She said gaining experience is more important than a 4.0 GPA and told me “journalism is not easy, but it is rewarding.”
Now, after being in four different positions, I can say that I indeed learned more working at The Oswegonian than I did in my classes. It was not easy, but it was definitely rewarding.
By my junior year I realized that I did not even want to go into journalism for my future career, yet I still came back to such a beautiful love/hate relationship and, like the editors have said before me, I have strived to do what everyone in the office does, to “build a better newspaper.”
This week was training week, when the newly hired staff takes over the newspaper with only the guidance from departing staff members. Little do they know what impact this office will have on them in the end. It is their turn to “build a better newspaper” and to continue to build this love/hate relationship.