I decided to become an opinion columnist for The Daily Pennsylvanian (DP), the University of Pennsylvania’s independent student newspaper, at the start of my sophomore year. I’d always enjoyed argumentative writing in high school, but university curricula usually does not promote this in the classroom. After seeing one of my best friends from freshman year become an opinion columnist, I knew that this was something I wanted to do.
One of the coolest things about writing for the DP is that columnists have a direct impact on Penn’s culture. Previous columns have sparked silent protests, changed the composition of a campus organization, or generally directed the flow of conversation at Penn. I always feel honored and humbled when I receive an email from someone thanking me for my column, or when someone stops me on Locust Walk to discuss their thoughts on what I’ve written. It’s a truly unique experience that you don’t normally get from the “standard” M&T trajectory.
M&T students keep themselves busy, which makes the DP a great activity to pursue — on a weekly basis, I put in two hours to write an article, an hour to edit, and an hour to give other columnists feedback at our staff meetings. Given its relatively low time commitment and wide-reaching results, I can’t recommend writing for a campus journal enough.
Max is a current M&T sophomore in the Class of 2015. He is majoring in Computer Science within Penn Engineering and has yet to declare his concentration in the Wharton School. You can check out some of his writing for the DP here.