As the sports editor for the student newspaper on campus, I always feel like I'm under quite a bit of pressure. Every Thursday night, I scramble to make sure I have three quality articles as well as pictures to accompany them so that the Sports page will be filled.
I have been told that before I took over as the sports editor at the beginning of my sophomore year, the sports page was a joke. All it consisted of were outdated game updates and editors that never showed up to meetings.
I came into Millikin undecided on a major, but I wanted to major in business. Upon taking a few English courses my first semester, I declared myself as a journalism major. After one semester as a journalism major, I was asked to take over the position of sports editor.
I was ecstatic. I called my parents to tell them all about how great of an opportunity I had been offered. With aspirations to someday work as a sports writer, I thought it would help to open up a multitude of opportunities for me.
I have left copies of the paper on the coffee table of my apartment multiple times, thinking that maybe someone would pick one up and browse through it, (or at least read the sports page) but I think the only time they have ever moved is when the wind blows them to the floor and someone picks them up.
It's frustrating to me when I talk to people on campus about the newspaper, calling it by name (The Decaturian) and they say, "what's that?" Each time, I politely explain that it is the student run newspaper on campus, and I tell them to pick one up and read it the next time they see one in one of the various campus buildings.
Will they do it?
Upon having these conversations, I think to myself: for all of the time that I spend transcribing interviews, writing my own articles, and editing articles for other people, is it even worth it if hardly anyone is ever going to read it? Is it worth all of the time and the effort that I put in?
Being a student athlete, there have been times where I have been up until three in the morning on a Thursday night, cutting down articles from 1100 words to 800, or listening to interviews I have already listened to about a hundred times to find a quote I wanted included in one of my writer's articles, and then had to wake up at 5:45 am to go to conditioning.
Needless to say, I definitely needed coffee on those days.
Even though I am well aware of the fact that most of the students at my university have never even heard of The Decaturian, I still continue to try my best and put in as much time as is necessary to create a quality final product.
For one, I don't want my name to be associated with something that I consider to be less than my best effort. One of my pet peeves has always been when people don't put in the maximum amount of effort to something they claim to be passionate about.
I also love writing, especially about sports. Plus, I've learned that it shouldn't take someone telling you that you have done well in order for you to feel like you have done a good job.
Although many people will probably never pick up a copy of The Decaturian in their four years at Millikin University, it doesn't matter to me. Would I like them to read the articles that I put hours of work into? Most definitely. But, I don't need for someone else to compliment my work in order to feel validated.