I would not describe myself as a try-something-new type of person, especially throughout my time at Gonzaga. 

When I got to campus, without even realizing it I designed my life on campus to be an extension of my passions and hobbies in high school. 

I went straight from volunteering as a basketball coach and a mentor for students with disabilities to volunteering with Campus Kids and Science in Action. I hopped right out of high school concert band and transitioned to the GU Bulldog Band and Wind Ensemble.

My logic behind declaring my major in education was because it was what I was familiar with at the time, and what I knew I would excel in.

Even my quarantine hobbies that I picked up last spring were pretty predictable. I just baked and cooked more food, watched “The Office” a few more times and somehow managed to go for even more long walks.

Writing for the Bulletin has honestly been the first brand-new thing I have done in a painfully long time, and I have to say it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

I remember being weirdly nervous for my first budget meeting in January. I did not know what to expect, what to say or what to do, and so by default I pitched a piece for myself about education, which is something I know a great deal about.

Even though I am incredibly proud of that piece, after writing it I immediately yearned to venture even more out of my comfort zone. I slowly but surely started working my way toward different topics and brand-new experiences.

The next piece I took was a review about booze near campus, which is still something I know an embarrassing amount about but was slightly riskier. As the semester wore on I began taking stories left and right about the most random things, becoming more and more adventurous and learning more and more about other people.

I cannot express my gratitude for taking these leaps of faith throughout the semester and can only imagine how much fun I would have had if I started writing for the Bulletin even a semester earlier.

There are so many people, places and things that I have learned about through this experience. I have interviewed some of the most fascinating people from athletes to influencers to engineers to local education administrators.

As someone who has completely fallen in love with Spokane and the community, writing for the Bulletin has been the perfect opportunity for me to get to know it even better. I am so grateful for these opportunities that the paper has given me to meet new people, attend live sporting events, which were rare this year and learn as much as I could about the people around me.

Writing for this newspaper also helped me find another community within the GU realm. Even though I have never seen most of the editors or staff writers in real life, I loved to hop on Zoom every Monday night to interact with some of the most passionate people I have met on this campus.

What brings me the most pride in this experience and what excites me the most moving forward in life is that I decided to give this a whirl with zero expectation that I would be any good. I took a chance on something that I was genuinely curious about and it turned out to be one of the more fulfilling experiences I have had in college.

And it was fun. I was fascinated by the article writing process and learning something brand new. I was hooked on listening to and writing stories that I never would have heard or seen otherwise.

If you are looking for a sign to try something new, consider this one of those fluorescent changing billboards on the highway that distracts you so much you almost rear-end the car in front of you. This is your sign.

Whether you’re in your first semester or your last, just give it a whirl. I’ll leave you with this quote from two legends — Wayne Gretzky and Michael Scott.

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

Dagny Albano is a staff writer. Follow her on Twitter: @dagny_albano. 

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