Two Weeks Until….The Real World

Four years of college lie behind me.

Four years of studying, reading, playing, stressing, laughing and smiling.

Some days, I think I want to rewind and start over. But that’s just my fear of the future taking over. The truth is, right now is the first time I hold the reins of life in my own hands.

My parents sent me to Holy Family School when I was ready for Kindergarten. They noticed I was bossy and not the best at sharing, so they thought a Catholic education would straighten me out.

It did, for the most part. I got the occasional behavioral notification for talking in church or leaving my starchy uniform polo untucked.

When everyone started talking about which Catholic high school they were going to, my parents told me they had to save money and I had to go to Stow. I was outraged. I didn’t want to leave the friends I’d grown so close to and be thrust into a sea of public school kids. We’d heard the rumors: They did bad things like have sex and smoke cigarettes.

No matter how much I complained, my parents were standing firm on their decision. I would go to Stow.

I had one good friend going to Stow with me, Megan. When we got our class schedules we called each other on the phone and shrieked in delight. We had the same lunch period. I wouldn’t be eating in the bathroom stall.

After four years of public school, I’d made better friends than I could ever imagine. Plus, I didn’t have to go to church every Friday like my Catholic high school friends did.

Senior year came along, and so did another huge decision made for me by my parents. My dad worked at Kent State, so that’s where I’d be going. Free tuition was something I could not pass up. I felt like I was “settling” for Kent State, though. I was jealous of my friends going to faraway schools like The Ohio State University or The University of Cincinnati. Meanwhile, I would stay here, 20 minutes away from where I grew up.

Looking back with older eyes, I’m ashamed of my selfishness. So many people would love to be in my shoes, graduating with no student loans to worry about. I’m also ashamed for putting down Kent State. This place has become my home over the past four years, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

Now, as I move into the next period of my life, my parents aren’t making the decisions anymore. I get to choose. It’s both liberating and frightening to step off of the trail and find my own footpath.Image

The News Outlet and I

In August 2012, I was mentally preparing for a grueling semester. I would be taking Reporting Public Affairs, one of those classes that upperclassmen mentioned with hushed voices and wide eyes.

“Oh boy…you better quit your day job. This one’s a doozy,” some said.

That month, I received an email from my soon-to-be RPA professor Barb Hipsman.

“PAID NEWS INTERNSHIP AVAILABLE!” the subject line read.

It had my attention. The first internship I had with sportsink.com paid, but not very handsomely. The second, at Cleveland Magazine, didn’t pay at all. I was in the proverbial “hole” because of all those drives out to Cleveland. I was ready to rack up my savings again.

So I gave Barb a call. I asked her what this news internship was all about. She told me I would be working directly with the Akron Beacon Journal as well as the Youngstown Vindicator. Bylines flashed before my eyes. “I’ll do it,” I told her.

We went to the first meeting in Youngstown just a few days later, and then we had story assignments. It was election season, and we’d be covering undecided voters.

The hardest part was finding someone who was undecided. It seemed anyone I asked shot back with a, “Psh, no,” and then lectured me for 30 minutes about either the Republican or Democratic party.

Finally, a Kent State University student responded to Barb’s Facebook post asking for undecided voters, and I scheduled an interview with Kate DeMay.

Welcome!

Hello reader,

Welcome to my humble blog page. Here I will chronicle my favorite stories I’ve written and tell you about my challenges and triumphs as a student of journalism about to be set forth into the world. I hope you enjoy!

Yours,

Kelsey