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Farewell Column: I don’t regret my chosen priorities while at OU

I like to consider myself a person with many passions, but my biggest passion has always been storytelling.

There are endless ways to tell stories, and I’ve tried just about all of them. I’ve started a YouTube channel, written songs, done theater and band, and now I’m a journalism major.

Part of the reason I’m pursuing journalism is the multitude of ways journalists tell stories. It can be a video, podcast or written story. We tell stories in books and newspapers, on TV, on the internet or all of the above.

However, something I didn’t think about when I decided to attend one of the best journalism schools in the country was just how competitive it would be. From day one, I felt like my classmates had already accomplished so much while I was just getting started. l felt isolated, especially in tandem with my all-online freshman year.

My first two years at The Post, I only copy-edited and didn’t actually create any content. This was for a few reasons, but the biggest reason is that I’m also a member of the Marching 110. 

Having to adjust from being a high school student to a college student, and then adjusting again to being away from home made it difficult to focus my energy on more than one extracurricular. The 110 is a huge commitment, so if I focused the little energy I had onto more than band and school, I would’ve suffered through both of them.

As years went by, I felt more behind in my major than ever. My peers won extremely prestigious scholarships, landed highly coveted internships and won national awards for their work at The Post. Meanwhile, I didn’t have any work at The Post until last fall when I joined the multimedia section. Despite my dream job being an entertainment reporter, writing for The Post’s entertainment section was the last thing I added to my plate because band kept me from being able to attend the meetings and having extra time to write.

While I may feel behind my peers and have missed out on great career opportunities due to my commitments to other student organizations — Bella Voce and Title IX were also added to my list of activities last year — I wouldn’t change a thing if I had to do it over again.

Being a member of the Marching 110 has been the most rewarding experience of my life and the most meaningful part of my time at Ohio University. Not only did I become a more resilient and perceptive person, I met incredible people who I hope remain lifelong friends (and in the case of one person, a lifelong partner).

Because I was in the 110, I got to perform in the same stadiums as Taylor Swift on her last two tours. I got to travel to Tucson, Arizona; Detroit; Indianapolis; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; and this summer, I’ll be performing with the 110 in London. 

My time in Bella Voce and Title IX was also wildly impactful, and it reignited my love of singing. I became a stronger vocalist and was given the huge responsibility of being on both Bella Voce and Title IX’s executive boards by the extremely kind singers who elected me. Being Bella Voce’s communications chair and Title IX’s gig coordinator has helped me improve my interpersonal communication skills and my social media skills.

All of this isn’t to say I haven’t accomplished anything in my major. I was given a journalism scholarship last year, and my internship at WOUB Public Media was an incredibly rewarding experience that taught me about what kind of journalist I want to be. My years of copy editing at The Post paid off, and I was promoted to slot editor. Although I didn’t start making content for The Post right away, I’ve hosted dozens of podcast episodes, created a plethora of videos and wrote many reviews, essays and listicles that I’m extremely proud of. Even among the work I did for my journalism and media classes are projects I consider to be my standouts. 

But, in an extremely competitive field and equally competitive program, it’s easy to feel inadequate when you compare yourself to your peers, many of whom dedicated seemingly all their free time to student media. 

Despite this, I’m glad I focused on areas I’m passionate about outside of journalism. I have the rest of my life to be a journalist, but I only had these four years to be a college student. 

Music is just another way of telling stories, and I won’t get another opportunity to tell stories through marching on a football field while blowing through a metal object. In fact, part of me wishes I could’ve told more stories at OU through musical theater and film. Unfortunately, there are only 24 hours in a day.

OU has endless opportunities for making friends and exploring your interests. Taking advantage of those opportunities was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and getting ahead in my career can’t replace the amazing experiences I had through band, choir and a cappella.

Arielle is a senior studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views expressed in this column do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk to Arielle? Email her at

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