How I became a Columnist

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Since April 2016 I have been building my journalism repertoire.

From junior high onward I toyed with the idea of being a journalist, but my schedule was already packed with core classes, orchestra, P.E. (EW), and Spanish. Fast forward to when I started college, and the idea came back up to the surface after I started to read the student-ran newspaper at my university. Actually, my freshman year of college marked the first times that I read any newspaper at all. Shoutout to free newspapers in my dorm every day.

After two quarters of reading The Daily and The Seattle Times I built up the courage to apply for the extracurricular writing and photography courses (which were the first step to being hired for The Daily, my university’s student newspaper) during spring quarter. To be honest, I was pretty surprised that I was accepted into both classes, wasn’t pursuing my dream supposed to be harder?

Well, it did get more challenging. Although the classes themselves were doable, learning how to interview people was downright scary. After my fellow students and I learned that we would have to interview sources for our pieces I noticed that attendance dropped. I don’t blame them for leaving, talking to strangers is an intimidating prospect for me as well.

I am proud to have pushed myself out of my comfort zones by not only applying for those classes but for staying dedicated and performing well-enough to be successfully hired at the end of spring quarter.

During the summer I continued to write and take photos even though school was not in session. Since it was summer, I was not in Seattle on a daily basis. Consequently, I learned how to conduct phone and email interviews. It felt pretty weird, talking to a psychologist on speakerphone while recording the conversation my laptop. But, not as weird and cringe-worthy as listening to my voice on that recording afterwards. It’s so weird to hear myself talk, especially in a formal manner. Anyway, I completed a few pieces during the summer and by the time autumn quarter came around I knew what my writing focus should be: nature.

While I love to write about my life, fashion, travels, thoughts, etc. the one topic that I enjoy writing about the most is hands-down the great outdoors. Maybe it was because of all of the hikes, camping trips, and drives that I went on during the summer, but it was at this point where I knew that I wanted to make it happen. I wanted to write about what I loved, so why shouldn’t I be able to?

So, when I received emails about column applications for the fall I began to brainstorm ideas. Since the bulk of my pieces so far had been from the wellness section of the paper and that was the section that I felt that I belonged to the most, I was determined to link wellness and nature. Luckily, doing so was not too difficult.

For me, when I am spending time in nature it is hard not to think about my well-being. For instance, nature gives me clarity of mind, escape from worries, a great place for physical exercise, and inspiration for my heart.

A Breath of Fresh Air,” the name of my column, has ran every other week during the 2016-17 school year and I am so proud of it!

Certainly, it was rarely easy to brainstorm ideas, travel to parks using public transportation, or do parks justice, but the experience was so valuable to me because it was my first real experience consistently writing and taking photos for a newspaper and I wrote MY VERY OWN COLUMN.

AH, STILL SOUNDS SO COOL!

Essentially, my column is a space in which I connect Seattle parks (a different one every time) to some aspect of our well-being-it could be physical, mental, spiritual, etc.

To date, there has been almost 20 weeks this school year that my column was published.

I am super proud to take on the title of a journalist, and LOVE sharing how spending time outdoors is good for us.

If you’d like to read my column from previous weeks and learn about the connections between nature and our wellness click here .

Thank you for reading about my path to becoming a journalist and I hope to update you on future progress that I make in this field 🙂

Love always,

K♥

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