Someone recently told me that “niche” is a very niche word — and that “niche” is a word that I use often. And they were right! I use “niche” a lot. Like, a LOT a lot. As in “using the word niche is my niche,” a lot.
What exactly does that mean? Google tells me it’s “a comfortable or suitable position in life or employment.” But to me, a niche isn’t just a place where I’m comfortable or suitable — a niche is a place where I feel at home, where I’m more comfortable than I would be anywhere else on earth, where I know I’ll always feel welcome and where I know I’ll be happy.
At BU, COM is one of those niches. So is the tiny podcast recording studio on the third floor of the building, as is the COM lawn on a late summer day.
But more than anywhere else on campus, my niche is The Daily Free Press. It’s the well-worn couch with pens stuck in the cushions from bygone pitch meetings. It’s the smell of the office on a Sunday night, a blend of tea and hot chocolate and Late Night Kitchen onion rings. It’s the sense that I’m about to spend my night with the 10 incredible people I’m proud to call my fellow editors and close friends (plus a full-size cardboard cutout of Ron Burgundy).
It didn’t take long for me to find a niche in the FreeP. I joined as a features writer my freshman year, and I knew the moment I walked into the dimly-lit office plastered with newspapers that it was where I was meant to be. But it also took me a while to discover what I really loved doing there — producing audio journalism for our podcasts.
The FreeP wasn’t what I had always imagined my college niche would be (I dabbled in humor writing and comedy, thinking that 30 Rock was my destiny). But finding your niche isn’t about doing what you think you’re supposed to do in order to achieve something distant. It’s about doing what you love, and what makes you not just comfortable but happy.
Finding your niche might happen all at once, when you walk in the door. It might happen really slowly, at that’s OK too. (It took me a year and a half to realize that audio journalism was the niche within the FreeP that I wanted to pursue.) You might find your niche in the first week of classes, or it might find you two semesters in.
You might find different niches at BU, and that’s great! (My niches also include suburban history and eating Harper bagels at Pavement Coffeehouse on Sunday afternoons). You may find one niche that you really love, and that’s great, too!
Finding a niche is a bit like falling in love — when you know, you’ll know. Just remember that sometimes, it might take a while to know.
The COM Ambassador program is available to current and prospective COM freshmen. We are here to answer questions and help you learn all the great things that BU, COM and Boston have to offer.
Be bold. Be creative. Be COM. @BU
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