Now that the semester has come to a close, it is finally time for my last blog post.
Looking back, J4804 really pushed me to limits I didn’t even know I had. Through six team stories, I learned so much about myself as a journalist and a professional looking to work in quite possibly one of the most stressful industries to date.
I’ve laughed. I’ve cried (probably the most out of every other student this semester – but that’s okay!). I’ve been screamed at by sources who just weren’t having it. I walked into an Orscheln’s to find farmers to talk to. I traveled to The Middle of Nowhere, Missouri, to find sources to talk to. I attended a pancake breakfast full of residents I didn’t know to find people to talk to. And I put together some damn decent stories.
And despite it all, I loved every second of it. This class was brutal. At times, it broke me. I was a mess. But there was never a point in the semester when I questioned whether or not this was meant for me.
If anything, 4804 has shown me that this was meant for me. And I’m so fortunate to the people who gave me this opportunity to grow and learn as a person and a professional and live out my dream at the best journalism school in the country.
If anything, this class showed me how to find balance. To find peace. And most importantly, strength. I learned to truly turn lemons into lemonade. I learned to transform periods of struggle into periods of growth. It took tears…and more tears. But ultimately, with a background like mine, this is a habit I know will bring more opportunity and positivity to everything I work towards in the future. And to me, that’s important.
Mental health is important.
Self-care is important.
You are important.
And for the first time in my life, I feel like I’ve grown beyond that token hawaiian girl into someone DEMANDING respect and looking to work to be the best person I can be regardless of my “exotic” background or history. And it’s mostly thanks to this crazy class.
In Missouri I always felt like an outsider. Maybe that’s just the path I chose. But in the end, 4804 showed me what kind of community you can build with like-minded people working toward the same goal.
I’m happy. I learned SO much. I made some great friends and worked with the best professors I could have asked for.
Now bring on 4806!