By C. Aileen Blaine
After four years of calling Youngstown State University my home, I’ve reached the end of my journey as an undergraduate student. Along the way I’ve met so many wonderful people, have made so many amazing friends and have developed a number of useful skills — all of which will stay with me for decades to come.
I hadn’t always been so sure I would be a writer. Since a very young age, I enjoyed telling stories and hearing from others’ perspectives, but I didn’t know there was a way to merge these two passions together. It wasn’t until a high school English teacher wrote a comment on one of my essays that I seriously began considering writing as more than just a secretive artistic endeavor.
I don’t think I would have come as far as I have if it weren’t for my professors and instructors. Their kind words of encouragement, their thoughtful insights and instructions all contributed to who I am today as a professional. If it weren’t for Mary Beth Earnheardt, Kelcey Norris and Abigail Cloutier relentlessly recruiting me for The Jambar, I don’t think I would have enjoyed my time here nearly half as much. In the semesters that followed, I overcame a severe case of imposter syndrome and rose like a gleaming phoenix from the ashes that had once been my crippling self-doubt.
I wish everyone the strength and courage to remain determined to keep on even when it seems like everything is going wrong. We, as workers in the media, haven’t chosen a popular or well-liked career path, but we’re forces to be reckoned with. Many of us want nothing more than to tell the stories of the lives around us, even if it isn’t always easy.
My only hope is that the current and upcoming faces of YSU’s student media and journalism department are able to take away as many fond memories as I.