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

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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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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The Power Of Journaling

Slowing down in a fast pace world.

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In a world where everything is moving so fast pace, I have found comfort in taking small moments to reflect on the blurring images around me. I have always loved to journal, but recently I have found a system that works very well for me.

One habit that I have newly formed is creating a section in my journal that I like to call "Get Out of My Head." Life moves very fast and sometimes my thoughts can't keep up. This causes stress, anxiety, sadness and even the feeling of loneliness. I have created this section in my journal to be a safe place where I can just scribble down whatever is taking over my head, but there is a trick.

Like I stated previously, I have always loved to journal, but I never found ultimate comfort in it because I would go back and read what I wanted to remove from my mind. This was causing me to reexperience what I didn't want to. I highly suggest having a place in your journal that is essentially a flame for all th4e thoughts you want to rid of.

On the contrary, have a section in your journal where you love to look. I try and fill this section with happy thoughts, quotes, verses, and gratitude. This makes journaling and reading your entries something to look forward to, rather than not.

In conclusion, journaling is unique for everyone and it takes some time to figure out exactly the right way. But once you discover the safe place that journaling can be, it can change your life forever.

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