I sat in the back row of the packed, cold lecture hall by myself.

It was the Sunday morning before classes began, and all freshmen were required to attend a meeting with their respective colleges where administrators and club leaders talked to us about the upcoming year and involvement opportunities.

I didn’t get much out of the meeting.

I did, however, get a purple flyer that read, “Want to write real news and not that fake stuff? Join The Daily Collegian, Penn State’s student news source since 1887.”

When I was little, my dream job was to become a reporter. As an incoming advertising major, I thought college would be my only opportunity to see that dream come to light.

So, I decided I would try out for the Collegian — despite the fact that I had no prior journalism experience (and I found the “real news” part of the flyer a bit cringey).

I was accepted into the Collegian’s fall 2017 candidacy class.

Fast forward nearly three years, and I have changed my major to journalism and developed a love for journalistic writing and editing — largely thanks to the Collegian.

I joined the Collegian’s news division because I loved to write and wanted to tell newsworthy stories.

To those who have any interest in sharing the news and creating quality content: I would strongly encourage you to join, too.

If words are your thing, we have four staffs — news, sports, arts and opinion — dedicated to allowing students to use their writing to share the stories of the Penn State and State College communities.

If you are passionate about visual storytelling, our photo and multimedia staffs allow students to use their talents to tell stories through photography, videography, podcasts and graphics.

Students of any major are welcome to join. Our staff has plenty of journalism majors looking for experience, but we also have many students of other majors who joined the Collegian to explore their hobbies and pursue their passions.

When I was handed a Collegian flyer freshman year, I had no idea how this media outlet would change my life.

Of course, if you join any club or organization and immerse yourself in it, your life is likely to be changed in one way or another.

However, I will forever be grateful that the Collegian is the organization to change my life, because I truly believe my life is better because of it.

Yes, there have been many long nights and stressful hours — but the skills I’ve developed and the people I’ve met have made everything worth it.

It feels good walking into the Collegian’s office every day knowing I’m doing important work with people I care about.

I hope you’ll consider joining us, so you can experience that feeling, too.

If you're interested in submitting a Letter to the Editor, click here.