Andres: Thinking of a place

Patrick Andres, Senior Staffer

Graduation Issue 2022

Patrick Andres, circa 2019, was a bit of a wreck.

I was in a near-constant state of culture shock. I was homesick for my tight-knit high school community. I was disillusioned by a culture that seemed to reject out of hand any use of free time apart from studying or partying. Introverted enough to wall myself off from people, but extroverted enough to sense that doing so wasn’t good for me, I could never quite shake the nagging suspicion that I was living my own life incorrectly.

Where did The Daily fit into my journey toward overcoming these insecurities? At first, it almost didn’t. I would pop in once a week, occasionally talk (sometimes unknowingly) to future lifelong friends and clock out. I thought the paper — a paper that I knew I would join in high school — would simply be a peripheral part of my college experience, like my classes or my work-study job. If I made a few friends, then all the better.

Then, a funny thing happened. The Daily, as a physical place, ceased to exist out of necessity due to the pandemic. But when it became something more abstract, that’s when the experience really took off for me.

In my time on The Daily, I wrote stories and live-tweeted games from everywhere. I wrote in my family home in Ohio, I wrote in my dorm room, I wrote in the library, I wrote in Norris University Center, I wrote in other cities and states, I wrote in Ryan Field and Welsh-Ryan Arena. But the stories, and where I wrote them, didn’t matter nearly as much as the people with whom I wrote them.

So many of my memories of The Daily are voices: Drew Schott’s volcanic excitement, Skye Swann’s quiet humor, Josh Hoffman’s gregarious warmth. They’re music, too: Norah Jones’s “Don’t Know Why” on a bus ride home from another crushing football loss with John Riker; Bradley Cooper’s “Maybe It’s Time” on the return trip from an ignominious men’s basketball tournament exit with Alex Cervantes and Lawrence Price; Dominic Fike’s “3 Nights” on a chilly Dillo Day evening with Gaby Carroll, the chatty New Yorker whose irreplaceable wit gradually drew me out of my shell.

To say that The Daily has washed away my old insecurities is a gross oversimplification. Its life-is-a-LinkedIn-post affliction, however, is more a Medill School of Journalism problem than a Daily problem; if nothing else, I am glad the Daily has begun to traffic in self-awareness. It needs people who take the practice of journalism seriously, but not themselves.

I hope I did that during my time here. And I hope if you read anything I wrote, you saw it — through the good and the bad and the tragic in Northwestern sports. It might take some time to fully realize it, but when I look back on my time at The Daily, I may yet think of a place after all: a home.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @pandres2001