How a simple recommendation and course goes a long way

A Look Back To What Brought Me To Study Journalism In College

How the "Wildcat Chronicle" influenced my major and what I got out of reporting for this publication.

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Going way back, I look back at how a teacher recommendation and my passion for writing has brought me to study journalism in college. As an awkward 8th grader student signing up for high school classes with my counselor, I never realized how being a reporter and editor for my high school paper will take me places. I decided to take the course introduction to journalism as an elective because I loved to write and keep up with current events. However, I did not enjoy writing fiction and poems, so journalism was a good fit. Also, my eighth grade English teacher recommended me to take the course, because he saw I had an appreciation for writing and I was a strong communicator.

When I took an introduction to journalism and upon successfully completing the course my first semester in high school, I decided to enroll in journalism production for the second semester. This course allowed me to write for the paper and be on the staff.. While in the introduction class, I learned how to write in a journalistic style since it is different than academic writing. I learned many valuable skills and I was up for the challenge for writing for the paper as a reporter. My first few months I was cranking out stories, coming up with story ideas, and I was promoted to the perspectives editor position of the paper. My staff even attended the 2014 Columbia Press Conference in New York City. Once my freshman year ended I wanted to take the journalism production course again, but not enough people signed up so there was no paper at all my sophomore year. With no paper to write for I realized how much writing for the "Wildcat Chronicle" was significant to me which is where I decided to study journalism in college.

The paper was brought back my junior year in high school where it was an online paper rather than a monthly paper in print. This phase was where my journalism skills developed and our staff flourished. I served as the sports editor my junior and senior year, and we as a staff grew closer together. We competed in competitions and we had good success. Our staff won blue ribbon awards and our online paper became both locally and nationally recognized. As a senior in high school, I competed in the IHSA sports competition at Eastern Illinois University after winning third place in the sectional competition. Our staff went to the spring national high school journalism competition in Seattle where our staff took courses and competed with other schools across the country! We did not bring any wins at this competition, but it was a good way to network and meet others who were passionate on journalism.

Once I graduated high school, I missed writing for this publication. It was a true honor being on the staff. To this day, I miss writing for the "Wildcat Chronicle." I still keep in touch with the newspaper adviser who was my favorite teachers back in high school. It is now 2019 and it's a good time to reflect how far journalism has taken me. I like thinking about how a simple recommendation and supporting staff and adviser would influence my major in college.

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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.

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My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

I cannot wait to watch my precious nephew grow into the amazing person that I know he is going to be.

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Goodbye School, Hello Real World

I'm ready for ya!

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It's starting to hit me.

I've been in school, year after year, since kindergarten. Maybe even pre-school!

Now, I'm about to graduate with my bachelors in communication and I couldn't be more proud of myself. I'll say it. I often sugarcoat it or suppress it but d*mn it. I'm going to applaud myself. It was hard work. It took a lot of motivation, determination, (caffeine), and willpower to get to where I am today. I worked my ass off.

That being said, I can't help but think... What is life without due dates? What is life like without scrambling to turn in an assignment that's due at 11:59 PM? What is life like with actual sleep? Sleep? I don't know her.

Like I keep telling my boyfriend and my parents, I don't have it all figured out. At least not right now. But I will, and I'm in no rush to land my dream job right now. If anything, I want to take a year to myself. I want to travel. I want to sleep in if I d*mn well please! I want to read as many books as I want. I want to write till my fingers fall off (OK, maybe not that).

You get the jist.

I'm free. I can do and be whatever I want. And you know what? That's terrifying.

I'm lost. I've followed this structure for so long. Now what?

I don't have all the answers yet. But for now, at least right at this very moment, I'm so thankful to have been able to receive such an amazing education. And to be able to say I'm graduating with my bachelors in communication at 21 is an accomplishment in itself.

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