Writing is second-nature to me. I don’t know how, or why, but I am a better communicator through writing than speaking with someone face-to-face. This could be due to practice makes perfect since I’ve written in diaries since I was seven and spent my middle school years writing stories in my free time on my mother’s laptop. It could also be a side effect of being an only child, my parents reading to me as a child, or my addiction to books.
I am first and foremost a journalist – which is perfect for writing clearly and concisely, but a challenge when I have to meet a 10-page minimum. My news editors always asked why I never wrote more news stories, while my professors want me to pursue a Ph.D. to continue my writing and research. I’m my own worst critic, so it’s difficult for me to convey how I’m a good writer; so I would trust their words more than mine.
Upon entering college, I followed my cousin’s footsteps by writing for the opinion section of The Volante, when she was the opinion editor. It wasn’t until my senior year that I found my niche: the news section copy editor. I wrote a couple pieces on the side, the first of which being the story above on sorority recruitment. It turned out to be the A1 cover story. Talk about pressure.
The ROTC story was another piece I wrote as a college senior, one that was a particularly enjoyable interviewing experience. However, this was around the time that I knew I was pushing my multitasking limitations – full-time schoolwork, an Honors thesis, working as a front desk worker for the residence halls, AND finding the time to dedicate interviews and writing for the paper was becoming too much. Luckily, copy editing is great stress relief for me. It’s one thing to know you can write, but it’s more satisfying knowing you can help edit someone else’s story to make it the best story it can be.
In my senior year of high school, I joined the Lincoln High Statesman as the copy editor. As a high school paper, you get the incredible opportunity to interview, write, design, and layout different stories and sections of the paper throughout the year. Both of the stories above are stories I was most proud of. As a former English student of Mrs. Wallenberg, it was a fantastic experience interviewing Steve and writing a piece that they were impressed by that summarized his work. Similarly, I loved Lincoln’s wrestling team and greatly respected the top wrestler, Tim. While we weren’t close friends, we had many classes together throughout middle and high school, so to earn his praise on a story like this meant a lot to me. Both men passed away in 2010: Steve in April, and Tim in June. But my reflections on that deserve a blog post of its own.