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College weekend led me to the Oracle

My love affair with the Oracle inadvertently began senior year of high school, when I visited ORU for college weekend and stayed with two crazy freshman girls. I didn’t like either of them, and avoided them for most of the next year, until one of them cleverly edged her way into my heart with Jane Austen references and dreams of France.

That sweet soul became editor-in-chief of the Oracle during my second year at ORU and, because I was ridiculously loyal to her, I filled out an application and officially joined the Oracle staff.

You can’t fully love something without disliking it first, and that much has been true in my love affair with the paper. Before I worked at the Oracle, I’d never read it. I’d never picked up a copy on campus and read an article about spending the semester abroad in Paris or the effects of DACA at ORU. However, after spending 20 hours every other week stuck in a basement editing over 20 stories with the best editorial staff in the world (and probably even all of Pawnee), I want to kick myself for not getting involved sooner.

So many college students struggle with feeling like they don’t have a niche, leading them to develop a loner mentality that convinces them they don’t need other people, that they operate better on their own. Here’s the truth, though—you might be okay without a niche, but you’ll be more than okay with one. It took me over half of my college career to find mine, and every moment I spent on campus not knowing they existed is a moment I’ll regret. They were here the whole time; I just had to find them.

I operated fine without the Oracle, but when Alyssa handed me that Staff Writer application, she showed me that I deserved more than just “fine.” She handed me friendship. She handed me work experience. She handed me something to love and care about. Being a self-proclaimed loner will never contest with these things.

There’s something wonderful about walking into a room and knowing that you genuinely love the people in it. There’s something thoroughly magical about walking into a room and knowing that the people inside are competitively, aggressively, seriously good at their jobs. You can manufacture talent, but you can’t manufacture love, and we feel it for our work. I hope we never lose it.

How am I supposed to work with people who hate their jobs after this? I have no clue. Pray for me.