I’m not going to lie and say I’ve always wanted to be a journalist because that simply isn’t true. I have always been interested in writing though, and it is this interest that brought me to The News-Letter.
When I started my freshman year, I was so sure that I knew what I wanted to do with my life. Now I’m starting junior year and that belief has never been more untrue. In the past two years, I’ve considered working for the United Nations, going into finance, becoming a literature professor, enrolling in business school and even starting my own media agency. I truly have no idea what I want to do after Hopkins and that thought is terrifying.
In figuring this out, I ask myself, “What brings me joy?” The answer to this has always been reading and writing. From writing short stories to attempting novels, I’ve chased words my whole life. It was never going to be different at Hopkins.
College is exciting and intoxicating but also daunting and paralyzing. There are new people, new places and new lives to think about. As a freshman, I relied on what I knew.
I never expected to enjoy writing for News as much as I did. In pursuing my love for writing, I found a new love for journalism. I’ve had the opportunity to investigate stories alongside passionate people who are determined to bring truth to our community.
As I continued to write, I became aware not only of the people I’m writing for and with but also of the people I’m writing about. For every article I’ve written, I’ve met the most interesting individuals working on the most interesting things: professors pursuing groundbreaking research, speakers sharing their learnings and students fighting to make this school a better place.
While exploring what lies ahead of me, I’m looking back at what I’ve done. So far, I’ve followed my love for writing and it’s led to some of the best experiences of my first two years of university. As you start your own journeys at Hopkins, try asking yourself, “What brings me joy?”
The News-Letter, for me, meant writing for the News section. But, if you’re interested in photography, it can mean joining the Photo team. Or, if you’re obsessed with Taylor Swift, you could analyze her albums for Arts. If you’re on the pre-med track, you could write for SciTech, gaining the opportunity to pad your resumé by interviewing leading scientists about their cutting-edge research.
I still don’t know what I want to do after Hopkins. But for right now, I’ve found my place at The News-Letter. Whatever your passions, interests and hobbies, we have a place for you in our paper.
I earned the title of “newspaper kid” long before I ever stepped foot in the Gatehouse. When I was in elementary school, instead of playing with Easy-Bake ovens and Orbeez, I played with word processors.
I wrote fictional news stories that I would then print and distribute to my parents under the header “Abbie News.” I grew up hearing stories of the swanky events my grandmother would attend as the society editor of our local newspaper. I took journalism all four years of high school and eventually served as co-editor-in-chief of our school paper.
My Hopkins acceptance may have been a surprise but, for anyone that knew me, my decision to join The News-Letter was not. Still, it was a decision that has proven more valuable than I had ever hoped.
Being a part of The News-Letter has allowed me to find my place in a community of people who are equally passionate about storytelling. We come from different majors, backgrounds and corners of the world, but we all gather in the ancient Gatehouse on Monday nights to share ideas for our next week of publication.
Hopkins is full of new, shiny things. Researchers are developing revolutionary biomedical devices, the constant construction tells of impressive buildings to come and each Orientation Week brings a freshman class with a laundry list of unbelievable accomplishments. These attributes of Hopkins are important and were what attracted me to the university as a wide-eyed high school student.
Yet, I have found the most fulfillment in the long-lasting community of The News-Letter. I feel honored to be supported by years of past editors and to hear about their pursuits at top news sources like CNN and The Atlantic. I am touched by those who return to the Gatehouse during Alumni Weekend and share stories of the nights they worked on laying out pages until 5 a.m. I am grateful to be a part of the legacy of a college newspaper that has been around for 127 years and counting.
College is fleeting. That fact is painfully obvious now as I enter my senior year. I see tour groups around campus and wonder how it is possible that I toured colleges years ago. I wonder how it is possible that I will never need twin XL bedding again, or never register for fall classes again. But I do not wonder if I have made my mark, or if I have made connections that will last for years to come. Thanks to The News-Letter, I know I have.