Senior Column | The DI always made me feel heard

Because of The Daily Iowan I always felt like my voice and opinion mattered.


Contriubted photo of Signe Nettum, Opinions Columnist.

Signe Nettum, Opinions Columnist

Once again, I am writing a goodbye letter and I am at a loss for words. I can talk your ear off for two hours about the latest Magic: the Gathering set, or about how my plants are doing, but when I am tasked with writing a letter to myself or others as a goodbye statement, I struggle to find the right words.

Does this problem happen because I have too many ideas and only 500 words at my disposal? Is it because I believe I am inadequate and have to have the perfect goodbye? Or is it because I am trying to type this up in between making scripts for presentations or writing my third five-page essay? Spoiler — it’s a combination of all three.

I never considered myself a news person. Growing up, the only news that caught my attention was the Sunday Morning Show on CBS that my parents forced me to watch. I liked the interesting stories they told, making small moments appear the most important.

I sought out the opinions section of The Daily Iowan because I wanted an outlet for my opinions, so I marched into the newsroom in early 2020 and demanded they add me to the roster. My time spent in the newsroom ended shortly thereafter. I never returned after the last meeting before spring break — none of us did, for the rest of the semester.

Half of 2020 and all of 2021 are a blur to me, in all aspects of my life — academic and personal. But the DI stood by me as a pillar and gave me the sense of belonging in the chaotic world. I felt heard on campus when I sat across state lines in Wisconsin.

I know that my journey through college in connection to the DI is not as exciting as other sections of the newspaper. I never traveled to new places to interview politicians or took pictures of rallies in the Iowa City streets. But I do not mind because I still had my share of the limelight with each of my articles.

I squeezed myself within the opinions section and produced articles that others would consider soft news — news that covers entertainment, lifestyle, culture, things that were important to me while on campus. Thanks to the DI, I always felt heard.

I added a journalism and mass communication major to my college plan at the beginning of my freshman year. At first, I did it just to appease my parents to say that I got a degree that meant a decent job. I did not like writing essays in high school, and I hated double checking things and researching. But, through my classes at the university alongside the DI, my love for journalism grew. I am happy that I took on the major and that I received it alongside my experience with the campus newspaper.

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.