I can’t say that I ever thought I would join the school newspaper at any point in my education, especially upon entering my first semester of college. At that point, I wasn’t even a Writing and Linguistics major, still drifting through uncertainty as I cleared out my core classes. I didn’t even consider jumping onboard with the George-Anne until the start of my fourth semester, halfway through my second year. I had a friend working there at the time, and decided I’d follow in their footsteps a bit and take the newspaper as an opportunity to gain a little experience in a field I hadn’t really considered doing anything in.
My friend ended up leaving by the start of the next school year, but I stuck with it until now, staying with the newspaper until the end of my final year here at Georgia Southern. If I can be totally honest, I couldn’t really tell you why. The newspaper basically felt like an extra class, one that, in the past year, required more time and reaped bigger headaches.
A lot of my reason for staying was probably because of knowing it would look good on a resume. Doing journalism work for almost three years with your university newspaper definitely looks better than half of one. More of it was probably stubbornness; we’ve got a bit of an obstinate streak in my family, and I guess a part of me felt like leaving the newspaper before I was really finished with it would be “giving up.” Of course, there were better reasons I stuck around. I’ve definitely picked up the writing style pretty well, and I can say that it’s certainly improved my writing in other fields as well; practice is all you need, and I got plenty at the George-Anne. Doing research on stories and digging up leads was actually somewhat fun, and while actually interviewing people ended up being a bit exhausting, there was a certain satisfaction to seeing a story come together. And nothing beats that pride you feel from seeing your first article online or in the paper. Plus, I’ve got a bit of a better idea of what I don’t want to be doing in my actual career—Man on the Streets are yesterday’s news!
I’m sure despite those positives, the people reading this probably think that I regret sticking with it for so long, but the thing is, I really don’t. Was it hard at times, maybe even impossible to deal with certain things? Absolutely, but when is anything worthwhile easy?
Believe it or not, reporting and journalism is still a career path I’m looking into; change the area of coverage into something more my speed, and it’s actually a job I dream of having! So yeah, while working with the newspaper might not have been something I expected to do—and maybe at sometimes, nothing I wanted to do—it’s a part of my college life I wouldn’t erase.