Since the dawn of humankind, every person who has walked the face of the Earth has had some sort of talent. Some may not have been able to realize those talents and many have yet to know what their talents are. Everyone has one, some just do not know. Talents can turn into passions. Living life with passion gives it meaning, even as you read this, you are (hopefully) thinking about your life and what you are most passionate about. After talent and passion fuse together, along with practice to bring it all together and perfect that talent, you have a dream profession.
From my earliest recollections, I have loved to write. Initially my family thought that I was a good writer, my penmanship was illegible, but the stories that I could tell were halfway decent. I moved to the second grade and we had to write mini books that we would illustrate and share with the whole class. I would churn out book after book, until the end of the year when I had 20+ at five pages apiece (with poorly done illustrations following each page of text) and many of the other kids had the minimum of five. My classmates (from what I could tell) also thought my stories were good, and maybe they forgot a few as I had so many! My passion for writing stemmed from reading, I could be seen carrying a book almost all of the time. The question would be was it one that I wrote, was currently writing, or reading from an actual published author?
Through the rest of my schooling, writing was my favorite part of the day. In middle and high school, I would excel at the vast array of writings that were assigned. I wrote poems, creative pieces, personal narratives and SO many argumentative and research pieces. I struggled with argumentative writing because I did not feel free to express myself, they felt far too concrete for me. Unfortunately for me, the writing I struggled with the most, was the style of writing I was assigned through high school.
Everything shifted my senior year of high school, I decided to take the two required “Senior Writing” classes in the same semester, and they were back-to-back classes (my first and second hours). My Creative Writing class was one of my favorite classes that I took during my time at Forest Hills Eastern High School. I was able to write the way that I loved to, my way. I wrote a fairy-tale that, to this day, is one of my favorite pieces from high school. My second class was a Composition class, there I got to examine my writing from a stylistic perspective, I could see what I could do better with each aspect of writing. I actually had the opportunity to make a comic book, a full on comic with speech bubbles and a superhero character. That was my favorite assignment in the class. I also got to know my girlfriend better and win her over in that class, so that made it even more special!
I graduated in May 2016 and enrolled in classes at Grand Rapids Community College which began that August. I took the required English courses (EN 101 and 102) during my freshman year at GRCC. The Winter Semester of 2017 was one I would not soon forget and learn even more about myself- I took a journalism class.
I walked into the classroom, which also doubles as the Collegiate office, not knowing what to expect. I knew that I wanted to write sports stories, other than that, it was a crapshoot. I was immersed into a world that was all new to me and I was excited to use my new found knowledge and put it to the test. I had the opportunity to interview the former head coach for Grand Rapids Football Club, it was a great first interview experience. The first story that was posted to the Collegiate website (thecollegiatelive.com) was a column titled, “Valentine’s Day for Single People.” It is kind of a long story on how that column came to be and why it’s hilarious to me now, stay tuned around Valentine’s Day 2018 to see what the (now) funny story is!
At the end of the semester I became the Assistant Sports Editor at the Collegiate and I was honored with that. That honor was extrapolated at the end of July when I was promoted to Managing Editor, which is second in command to the Editor-In-Chief. Over the summer, and so far this fall, I have had the great opportunity to meet and speak with some people I never thought I would ever physically see, most prominently the President of GRCC, Dr. Bill Pink. I have also had the opportunity to cover events as well, starting with the GRCC Volleyball team storming through the Michigan Community College Athletic Association with a perfect 16-0 record. I have also been able to cover GRCC Men’s Basketball as they started the season strong. I also was able to live a childhood dream and cover a game for the Grand Rapids Griffins, technically that was before I took on either Editor role, but it was still an incredible experience nonetheless.
My experience in a very fast and very full 10-months is just that, fast and full. The small body of work that I have eclipsed in that time is exciting for me!
Journalism as a profession has offered many opportunities and opened multitudes of doors for writers to meet people, write and tell stories about anything and everything. Writing as a whole is one of my favorite talents, I love to read a great story so I can learn and improve my own writing. I also love putting down a story that makes people think and feel. I am thankful that I took Journalism 251 at GRCC and we able to be where I am today. I am also incredibly thankful that I was blessed with the talent of writing, and even more so that I was able to realize that talent and turn it into my passion.