As a first-year student at Fairfield University, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I was certain of very few things, one being that I loved hockey. Because of that, I had declared that I would be a sports journalist, stopping at nothing to work for the New York Rangers. Though that didn’t really pan out (and probably for the better), this little ambitious plan of mine inspired me to join The Mirror. Such a decision would go on to remarkably impact my college experience.
I so vividly remember anxiously walking from table to table at the activities fair, drawn by the odd bunch sitting at the student newspaper’s booth. I knew that if I wanted to get into sports writing, there was no better place to start. I apprehensively signed myself up, and shortly after, received an invitation to my first pitch meeting!
The little glass office that I have since grown to be so familiar with smelled of pizza and unfamiliarity, but I am so glad I resisted the (very strong) urge to turn and run. Instead, I gathered myself and walked up to the intimidating desk in the corner, manned by three senior guys in backward hats and basketball shorts.
After a brief introduction, I was thrown to the wolves and claimed the only sports article on pitch that wasn’t taken by another student. The sports editors gave me a nice pat on the back and sent me on my way to write “as much as possible”… whatever that meant. I still read that first article of mine and cringe, but since September of 2018, I’ve grown immensely as a person and a writer.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed covering Fairfield sports- whether that be reporting on games from up in the luxurious press box of Rafferty Stadium, or in the bitter, cold weather out on University Field when the field hockey team advanced to the postseason well into November. Through the countless hours I’ve spent at sporting events, and interviewing athletes and coaches, I’ve learned more about myself and, more importantly, the people around me. Although “sports journalist” is not a title I look to keep in my post-graduate career, I’m proud to have been able to assume that role, even if just for a few years. Isn’t that what college is all about; exploration and development?
When new writers sign up for The Mirror, I see little glimpses of myself in them, and I become excited for the future of this paper, which has grown to feel like my own. The point of my reminiscence is that I believe everyone should find their “Mirror” at Fairfield, whether that be through participation in intramural sports, Campus Ministry or even in academic honor societies. I truly believe that everyone has a place on this campus. Some are just easier to find than others.
One tiny, spur-of-the-moment interest was the catalyst that drove me to find my ‘place,’ I say running the risk of sounding painfully cheesy. After approximately 122 published pieces, three years of weekly pitch meetings, Mirror Tuesdays and many, many laughs, I am so grateful to be where I am today. I encourage you to go out of your comfort zone, especially while you’re a university student. Do your best to be present, no matter where you might find yourself, and be patient that in time, you will be where you are supposed to be.