I nervously tapped my foot on the wooden floor, shaking my chair in the process. All I could do was watch. Watch as my partner ran, trying to make it out the door, before vomiting all over the auditorium. Watch, as others screamed when their names got called. Watch, the joyous expressions on others faces as they went to claim their prize.

Everything was a blur until I heard my name.

This was everything my partner and I worked toward during the school year, a chance to place in the Nebraska School Activity Association’s state journalism competition.

My high school had not placed in the theme development contests in many years, so it became the goal at the beginning of the academic year.

“What is taking so long?” I thought in my head.

Then I heard the back door slam.

The loud chatter in the room came to a halt when the dean of the journalism college made her way to the podium to announce the winners. She went through the order in which she would name the winners in each competition. Of course, my competition was last to be announced.

As time went on I felt myself getting anxious. Seconds felt like hours and minutes felt like years.

Finally, our competition was next.

She started reading “and in third place…” My partner walked through the doors, her face as pale as a ghost, crossing her fingers by her side.

“and in second place…” In this moment, time stood still. We were on the edge of our seats while our hands clenched the sides of the chair. “from Millard South Annie Allen and Brittany Hamor.”

I could feel a weight lifted off of my shoulders. We did it.

Every late night and tough deadline was worth it for this one day. Journalism taught me the value of dedication, hard work and the purpose of a deadline. Ever since this day I vowed to put 100 percent in my writing.

This was the pivotal moment, when I knew I wanted to make journalism a career for myself.

I ended my high school journalism career with six appearance at state. A variety of Journalism Education Association awards and was recognized by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as one of Omaha’s top high school communicators. Also, I received a partial scholarship to pursue journalism.

The summer before college I searched to find journalism-related jobs.

I currently work at the Nebraska State Historical Society as an editorial assistant. I also began working this summer as a news reporter for the Daily Nebraskan.

My next plan of action is to take The Real World I (Jour 348.) This class will give me insight on news reporting because each week I will be able to hear the experiences from the staff members at the Omaha World-Herald.

After finishing the class, I could be one of the five students to obtain an internship with the Omaha World-Herald.

Eventually, I want to be an investigative journalist for the Omaha World-Herald. This class is definitely the best way to get my foot in the door. The opportunities at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln are endless.

I believe with every experience and opportunity I receive during my time at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will help me achieve my dream.

Although, majoring in journalism is more difficult than I thought it would be, every class I take expands my passion for journalism. Every story I write fuels my desire to improve and write even more. I know this is what I am meant to do.

I hope that one day I will be able to influence others to take the journalism path. I want to be a good mentor to others because I was fortunate enough to have numerous mentors that have helped me throughout high school and college.  Choosing journalism was the best decision I ever made.



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