Sometimes things in life fall perfectly into place. Maybe it’s how somebody met their significant other or landed an interview for their dream job. For me, it’s when I became a sports writer for The Utah Chronicle.
College goes by quick. I can attest to that as I am in my fifth year as a Ute. I found a major I enjoyed my freshman year, and I ran with that for four years until I graduated in the spring of 2017 with a marketing degree. I had one year left of eligibility on the University of Utah women’s basketball team, however, and that gave me the opportunity to study anything I wanted for my final year. The options were endless.
I realize not everyone has the opportunity to explore different career paths. University is costly and timely, and many students have families or full-time jobs while also balancing a full class schedule. I have respect for those who choose to pursue their education and pay for it themselves, and I understand their constraints, but the classes I have enjoyed the most in college were the ones I picked solely because I thought they would be fun and interesting.
I have taken photography, documentary filmmaking, radio and chemistry (bad idea for me), along with writing, management, marketing and more, but it wasn’t about liking every second. It was about discovering what was right for me and what was not.
This past summer, I was faced with a decision to choose another study course. On a whim, I decided to pursue communication, and I am thrilled I did. I thought communication would sharpen my skills and complement my marketing degree. Little did I know, I would fall in love with writing. I have found sharing mine and others’ stories is my calling.
I wound up writing for The Chronicle by chance. I am a part of the Student Media Council, which oversees all student publications and broadcasts at the U, and during our first meeting of the year, the executive editor of the school newspaper, Megan Hulse, mentioned they are always looking for new writers. So I applied to be an intern on the sports desk, and the rest is history.
I feel like I have an advantage in my writing when I cover a sport because I have been on both sides of the interview. I have spent a fair amount of time answering questions from reporters over the years, but I never had any idea how much work goes into one story. It not only gives me a unique perspective, but also an appreciation for those who pursue journalism. I believe it’s an important job to inform the public, provide readers with the truth and bridge the gap between people — anyone from athletes to politicians.
Getting involved in a group on campus was a focus of mine heading into my senior year because for my first four years, I was mainly involved with athletics. Yes, basketball is time consuming, but so many other students work and go to school and still find time for sororities, fraternities or school clubs and other groups. There are many passionate students on campus giving back and creating clubs to share their interests with others, all the while putting their heart and soul into everything they do. The Chronicle is no different.
There are writers of all ages, backgrounds and experience levels who work at The Utah Chronicle. I had no prior experience writing game previews, recaps or columns before I started, but the editors are helpful. I never thought I would enjoy writing because even though I loved writing stories as a child, I hated grammar with a passion. I am so thankful for the editors’ guidance and how they have helped me become a better journalist.
My advice to anyone who has no idea about the direction they want to take in life is to take a deep breath. Your career path is a lifelong journey and doesn’t need to be set in stone as a freshman. I would also advise everyone to take classes you truly enjoy. Work doesn’t feel like work when you love what you’re doing. Try to join a club, create connections and make friends along the way so you can discover what you want to do. If you think a career may not be for you, explore it anyway, like I did, because it might all fall into place.