I absolutely despised writing when I arrived at Waynesburg University back in the fall of 2015.
Who would think that four years later, I would be completing my fourth year as a contributor and staff member of The Yellow Jacket here at Waynesburg? If you would’ve told me out of high school that I would have become a writer and storyteller in college, I would’ve laughed in your face.
Yet here I am, still churning out story after story each week just like I have each semester since that fall of 2015 when I had my first taste of journalistic writing in my sports writing class.
It was in the class that I not only realized that I enjoyed writing about sports, but I really like telling stories. And I was pretty good at it.
If it wasn’t for that class, I don’t think I would’ve discovered the passion I have for storytelling, especially on the sports side. I grew to love finding creative ways to tell the story of different games, highlighting key aspects and also learning about people’s background and telling their stories through my writing.
Writing essentially started to become a bit of a release for me, allowing me to have creative freedom to sit down and fit all the pieces together into the puzzle that ends up becoming the story. As I learned more about myself and how I actually realized that I loved this kind of writing, I got more involved with The Yellow Jacket and have been a staff member since the fall of my freshman year.
It hasn’t always been easy. As a student-athlete where sometimes, between games, practices and travel obligations, my sport eats up more than 30 hours of my week in season, my other on-campus job where I work 5 to 10 hours a week and class work on top of that, time management is more than essential.
This year has especially been hard on the newspaper staff with over a half-dozen resignations, leading to an increased workload for the remaining staff members.
What kept me going with The Yellow Jacket, despite all the hardships and other obligations were two reasons.
First and foremost are my fellow coworkers. I’ve built great friendships with many people within that newspaper staff, and those people are some of the hardest working people I know. I love all of them and would go to battle for each and every one of them. Also, who knows if I would be dating my girlfriend, Mattie, if it wasn’t for us being coworkers on staff. We have all overcome immense adversity to get to where we are now, and I am beyond proud of us.
Second is the doors it opened up for me professionally. Ever since I became a writer, I have utilized those skills to help land me internships each of the past two summers, freelancing jobs for two different newspapers while in school and my writing has set me up for success in graduate school. I’m forever indebted to the experience I got with the paper helping give me the skills to capitalize on those opportunities.
As my undergraduate career comes to a close, I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunities that not only The Yellow Jacket has provided for me, but the overall academic and athletic experience I’ve had at Waynesburg. I wouldn’t trade the late nights, the hundreds of hours dedicated to writing and editing and all the laughs and memories for anything.