After starting out undecided, Collin Atwood found his path in journalism

By Colin Atwood
@collinatwood17

I’ll never forget my first time going down to the newspaper office. It was the beginning of the 2019 fall semester – a time when people associated the word “Corona” with alcohol instead of a worldwide spread virus.

It was my sophomore year and I had just declared for the communications/sports journalism major. I heard that The Springfield Student was holding a meeting for newcomers from the great Marty Dobrow and luckily, I built up enough courage to head down to the office. To this day, I have never seen that room so full.

When I finally made it down the stairs and into a seat, my nerves hit a peak. I was instantly intimidated by my fellow classmates, Joe Arruda and Irene Rotondo, for how they handled the room, especially the underclassmen. While I compiled all of the reasons why I felt I didn’t belong in that office, these two were taking control of the room as Assistant Sports and News Editors.

That’s when I knew I had a lot of catching up to do.

During the meeting I was approached by Marty and the enthusiastic Gabby Guerard, The Student’s Editor-in-Chief at the time. All they did was ask me if I had any story ideas and my nerves allowed me to feel attacked and overwhelmed.

The truth is I did have a story idea – a rarity to say the least – but there was no way I was going to share what it was. It was my first time in the office and I hadn’t even finished my intro to journalism class. But, of course, neither of them took no for an answer.

I eventually pitched my idea and it ended up being the first article I had ever written – not just for The Student, but in my life. The feeling that took over my whole body when I saw my story on the front page was a feeling I never wanted to lose. That’s when I knew I wanted to continue to be involved with The Springfield Student.

As I look back at my best memories from college, they all come from that office and the dedicated and talented journalists that can be found there.

To my fellow staff members – Joe, Irene, Hayden Choate, Garrett Cote, Caitlin Kemp, Chris Gionta and Carley Crain – and my COSJ professors – Marty, Kyle Belanger, Laura Dubowski and Aimee Crawford – thank you for an unforgettable four years.

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