Experiences in Newsroom inspire student to seek new path

by HANNAH NELSON//Staff Writer

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The summer before starting at South Plains College, I went to orientation and met my advisor.

At that point in time, I was a Journalism major and was assigned to Charlie Ehrenfeld as an advisor. I went in and randomly decided to change my major to advertising. This wasn’t the best decision that I made in my life. I should have definitely stuck with journalism. However, I’ve changed my major more than the weather in Texas changes. Poor Charlie had to deal with changing my major for me and putting me into classes he isn’t even an advisor for.

While making my schedule, there is one class that Charlie put me in: Publications 1. It wasn’t until my first day in class that I realized that I would be writing for the campus newspaper. I spent most of my first semester learning and improving my writing. If I ever looked at one of my articles from my first semester in the Fall of 2015 and compared it to my writing now, it would be completely different. I ended up taking a break from the paper that spring semester. However, I learned during that break how much I missed writing. As soon as registration opened for the Fall 2016 semester, I was in Publications 2. For me, this semester was a completely different situation than my first. I was so excited to start writing again. I really started to venture out of my comfort zone with stories, taking on more stories than I normally would.

The experience that I have gotten from the Plainsman Press has already helped me tremendously. You learn to be confident in your writing. You don’t know who is going to read one of your articles, so you have to trust your own writing, especially when it comes to opinions. When I write an opinion, I am putting my own personal thoughts out for people to agree or disagree with. I’ve learned be confident with my own thoughts to share with any reader. The Newsroom also teaches you how important each individual is to the final publication every two weeks. It is so cool to see a whole classroom full of such talented people come together and create an amazing paper. Plus, thanks to the paper, I can now write 500 words about anything.

My favorite experiences from being a part of the Plainsman Press are from my concert reviews. My review about the I Prevail concert is one that I will always be proud of. This article gave me the ability to write about something I was very passionate about and enjoyed. Regardless of writing a story or not, I was going to the concert. I Prevail has been one of my favorite bands for a while. I spent weeks before the concert talking to I Prevail’s publicist to get a press pass for the event. It was sure an amazing experience to cover and review a concert as a fan.

For this article, I had to take my own pictures that night at the concert. One thing I have always tried to avoid is pictures. I will write anything but avoid taking pictures at all costs.  I faced a huge fear, and was able to take pictures during the concert in the photo pit. The pictures didn’t turn out that bad, if I do say so myself. I had one of the best times of my life during this concert, and I am able to remember it forever with my article.

The best semester, by far, has been this spring. I have had so many amazing experiences and formed relationships with so many great people. I could go into the Newsroom at any time during the day and just hangout. Even if I didn’t need to work on a story, I could always just go and sit in the Newsroom at the back table.

I can normally always find Sara in there playing music, and I could never complain about the station choices. The best music, in my opinion, was always playing in the room. Our Editor-in-Chief, Sara, is someone in the Newsroom I know I can always talk to. Whether I need help with sources, writing, or the printer, she has always been able to help me.  She is someone I can just go and hang out with in the Newsroom during my off period.

This semester, I have met so many friends through the Newsroom. Dez has been such an amazing person in my life this semester. We met at the back table of the Newsroom, which is my normal spot. Throughout the semester, I have learned a lot of things that Dez and I have in common. She is a really cool person to talk to and be around. We now message on Snapchat and geek out over tarot cards and colorful hair. She is now my go-to hair stylist after helping me get the orange hair I had been wanting all semester.

This semester, I also met Ryan, who will talk about Paramore and “Rupaul’s Drag Race” with me during class. We will sit down every Tuesday and talk about the latest “Drag Race” episode. We predict who we want to win and go home. It has been really fun to find someone to share things I enjoy with.

As for Charlie, I always loved joking around with him about my pink, and now orange, hair. I am so thankful that I was put in that Publications 1 class my first semester. My life would have been completely different if it wasn’t for the Newsroom. Who knows what I would be doing if I didn’t find my love for writing.

Being a writer for the Plainsman Press for three semesters has been one of the best parts of my time at SPC. I didn’t even know how much I loved writing before this last year on the staff. I will be continuing to write at West Texas A&M, but it can never replace the Newsroom. I’ve loved being a part of it. I want to thank the entire staff for being such incredible people. I will miss walking into a room that welcomed me every day.

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