I began working with The Campanil during my Fall semester in 2011 and, to be extremely honest, I have no idea why I joined the news staff in the first place.
I think it might have been because one of my closest friends was on the staff and she’d be gone for hours every Friday, and when I finally asked her where she’d been, she told me she joined The Campanil‘s news staff. I was perplexed. I couldn’t wrap my mind around why she would voluntarily devote so much of her free time to a college newspaper, and like any typical teenager, she replied (jokingly), “You get free food.”
So naturally I signed up.
(Again, I joke. Sort of.)
I first entered the staff as a copy writer because, let’s face it, I’m guilty of unremorsefully correcting people’s grammar and punctuation on a daily basis. I’m that person. I don’t necessarily like it, and I know my friends don’t either, but it’s one of those English Major idiosyncrasies that you have to learn to love-hate. ANYWAY, I was a mere copy writer who sat and edited stories for a few hours and left once I finished, almost completely oblivious to the entire process of production days. I slowly started to become more involved as I became a contributing writer on top of already being a copy editor. After only having one semester of experience as on the staff, I was thrown into the deep and given the position as the Health and Sports Editor.
I thought I was going to drown. And I certainly know some people expected me to, probably even hoped I would, in order to give way to someone more experienced and qualified. But I didn’t drown. I’m sitting here in The Campanil office at the same desk I’ve had for four semesters writing what I hope to be a somewhat inspirational (if not laughable at my expense) blog post about my experience with trying and failing (by my personal standards), then trying again through different approaches.
I had no idea what I got myself into when I decided to join the news staff however many semesters ago, and there’s no amount of food that could compensate for my time spent working on the newspaper (I’m not sure how many times I can joke about food, but I’m also not sure I care, so… I’m going to keep doing it). But there also is an invaluable amount of experience and chance for opportunity through The Campanil that I am so grateful for. As an English Major, I feel compelled to write (obvi), but that only takes you so far, and I had no indication of where to take my writing, both while in school and once I’ve graduated. Last Spring semester, I got hired as an online blogging intern for a fashion company’s blog. Through our publication, I’ve also had the fortune of attending two Associated College Press (ACP) Conferences, and had the opportunity to represent Mills College by speaking on student panels. I might have had the desire to apply for something like that at some point in my life, but the work I’ve done with The Campanil has really pushed me to do things I would normally put off until later.
There was a lot of learning along the way while working on The Campanil. I’m still learning, and sometimes I still feel like I might drown, but I know that there’s always going to be something else afterwards if I do (except I won’t because, well, this is a newspaper and not a body of water (which is an entirely different matter because I still don’t know how to swim, in which case I actually would drown)), and it will be something I can be genuinely proud of.