I can’t wait for next year.
But I also totally could.
I really love the community that is journalism. And then, furthermore, what extends beyond that community through the articles you write and the people you meet while writing them.
I just got an extended invitation by Marcus Green, head of South Seattle Emerald, to meet up for pizza and discuss journalism at some point. Excited to see where that goes! I love and very much appreciate what the Emerald does.
So I just got this message from Ashley Stewart. She's a senior at the UW and is in charge of SPJ, a journalism club that I went to freshman year. She's also previously worked for the Olympia Internship program that I want to do.
“Hey Kelsey – This is Ashley from SPJ. Would love to talk with you about leadership positions in the chapter. I’m leaving soon and a couple of your teachers recommended you. We’re having a SPJ/AAJA pizza party on March 30 at 7:30 p.m. in COM 242. Hope you can make it!”
THIS IS SO EXCITING AND I JUST SAID YES
YAY OH MY GOODNESSSSSS
[also, shout out to the teachers who recommended me???]
My first PAID article, and currently my favorite that I have written thus far. I’m really proud of myself on this one. Not only does it center around something that I find impeding and important, but also on something I’ve been following.
I ended up live-tweeting what public speakers said during the meeting (and while waiting for edits), which got me both the news editor’s and the editor-in-chief’s compliments. They said that they loved what I was doing and that live tweeting was their “favorite thing."
I felt really happy to get those compliments and that acknowledgement from The Daily's higher-ups.
Moreover, the meeting went well over my deadline. It was supposed to start at 7:30 p.m. but it didn’t get started until approximately 8:15, and my article was due at 9:00. The meeting was still happening at 9:30. I ended up writing my article as the meeting was going once the clock hit 8:50. I finished it, sent it to my editor, and was editing it before the meeting even ended. I was proud that I was able to do that. It was intense.
I also ended up sitting in Gowen’s stairwell, after having my stomach grumble from hunger two hours earlier. I was working on my piece with the news editor and editor in chief until about 11:30 p.m. The stairwell was cold, but the sacrifice was worth it.
I WAS JUST TOLD THAT MY ARTICLE WAS “REALLY GOOD” BY THE DAILY'S NEWS EDITOR WHO ALSO ASKED ME IF I WOULD BE WRITING FOR NEWS
SO EXCITED AND HAPPY!! And I even found and pitched this article myself too and everything and I was really excited to do it because it’s a topic I’m very interested in and YESSSS
Article to be posted soon.
But, no, really. As soon as I realized that students wrote for UW’s newspaper, I saw my goal. It would allow me to really delve into journalism in a more real sense than high school ever offered me, and it would also allow me to do some safe self-exploration– not to mention job experience.
So, having taken quite a while to figure out how it is that students begin writing for The Daily, I discovered that the application to get into The Daily’s more-or-less training class begins and ends within the first week of every quarter. Moreover, I noticed that the “classes” for said training generally take place later in the day, so I set up my schedule for my next year’s first quarter (the quarter for which is already happening right now, in real time) to specifically have room for The Daily.
I sent my application in about 10-ish days ago.
I was notified today that I GOT IN!!
Cannot explain how excited I am. I FINALLY get to truly experience journalism. Which is scary and intimidating, yet I want to run head-on into it, full-force, full throttle. My god. So terrifying and exciting. It really will have an incredible impact. Basically, it will let me know if it’s truly what I want to do with my life. I’m pretty damn sure it is, but it’s still scary. The thought that I could be wrong is honestly kind of paralyzing.
So much improvement from my first quarter. This is a shot of my grades after having finished my second quarter and I was so proud of myself even if I still wasn’t where I wanted to be yet. It was a lot of improvement — and not just in grades, but in my entire mental well-being. So happy.
I went into this quarter quite literally thinking, “I know I’ve always wanted to write and become a journalist since eighth grade and all…but is that realistic? I mean, will I even make enough money off of that? Could I even get a job right out of college with a journalism degree? I mean, for the love of God, aren’t most journalists going down the drain anymore?”
To settle my worries, I then decided to put journalism aside and try a major in biochemistry–I honestly just picked that because it sounded interesting, and I knew I liked, and was good at, chemistry. This all resulted in my homework-ridden first quarter, full of only math and science. Let me just say the understatement of the year: that was a mistake.
I suppose I wouldn’t even mind a homework-ridden quarter if I actually enjoyed what I was doing, but if I am being 100% honest with myself, I detest calculus. I hate three-hour, we-discussed-this-in-class-so-nothing-new, no-explosions labs. The combination of these two fairly strong regards, the amount of work they came with, and random life obstacles made me almost hate my first quarter.
I did say “almost.” Throughout these wonderful face-palms, I came to the conclusion that there is really no sense in dismissing something of which I am so passionate. It’s rather ridiculous, really. I grew up imagining that I would happily partake in college courses where I would be writing my brains out, and here I am doing the exact opposite.
So, if anything, this first quarter has not been completely hopeless: I have managed to make some, what appear to be, life-long friends; I have unearthed what is actually important for my well-being; and I have actually made up my mind. I am going to become a journalist.
To begin this story, I would prefer to skip over the initial days of my very dark, womb-embedded life—actually, I would prefer to skip over several of my childhood years—and begin where, in my opinion, my academically-driven self first formed. I will admit that it was never a struggle for me to get A’s on a piece of paper, but I will also admit that I was not always one who cared about moving forward as a person or even really as an intellectual. However, the day I was begrudgingly enrolled into my first — and my school’s first — honors class, I soon realized what I was missing. I was missing a kooky, life-long mentor, teacher and friend by the name of Mr. Dorman, and I was missing a hunger for knowledge
In reflection of this autumn quarter, it has been rough, to say the least: there were weeks when I would literally cry once a day over the amount of homework I had and the frail amount of free time that I did. I additionally ran into various hurtles outside of academics, like financial aid disagreements, for example. As a result, my expectations have not exactly changed, but they have definitely been a hardship. I have always set high expectations for myself, and I will be the first to admit that I am most definitely not meeting these expectations this quarter. It is rather upsetting. However, I still plan on doing the best I can for next quarter, with the equivalent amount of expectations.
All in all, I have realized that I do need to be less harsh on myself—that being said, I still find my results quite disappointing anyhow. But I have learned to overcome my frustrations and just work through it. Honestly, it simply surprised me that I could even, well, sink so low and still be okay. On the bright side, I have made marvelous friends within my McMahon floor to whom I will be forever thankful.
I knew that UW was in fact a larger school—one of the reasons I picked it—but I did not quite expect the difficulties that come with being in a larger school: navigating things almost completely on your own in terms of where or who to go to, the lack of specific help to individual students in classes (since there are so many), you get the idea. However, I have navigated most of these surprises, and I still enjoy walking among a sea of strangers at any given time. It is refreshing, and has an infinite amount of possibilities.
In Honors 100, I have learned about various ways to intertwine studying abroad with experiential learning, and a multitude of other things to mix. I have always been inclined to travel and have always known that I would study abroad in college, although I do not precisely know when. For this reason, I am quite interested in investigating the subject further.
By the end of my first year, I just hope to achieve an understanding of how I function as a college student. I hope to understand where I am going, how I study best, what my tendencies are now that I am on my own, and I simply just hope I grow more as a person. In the grander scheme of things, I hope that by the end of my UW career, I have done everything that I wanted to do, learned everything that I possibly could, enjoyed my time, made wonderful friends, and have formulated enough connections to quite possibly have a dependable job in a hopefully close future.
Kelsey Hamlin is finishing up her last year at the UW. Though her time is typically spent telling others' stories, here's a chance to get a peek at hers.