As my first year at Minnesota State University, Mankato comes to a close, there have been several times in the last few weeks where I’ve sat thinking, “How did the year fly by?” At this time last year, I was trying on my cap and gown, practicing my graduation speech and thinking that my life was going to drastically change over the last next few months.
Even though I’ve been hesitant to change, I find myself getting bored when I don’t have something new to do. I like to try and challenge myself now and then and get out of my comfort zone. That being said, I only want to get out of my comfort zone when I want to get out of my comfort zone. If it’s something that piques my interest, then I’m all game.
When I wrote for my newspaper in high school, I focused on stories that focused on entertainment, satire and opinion pieces. When I could pick what I wanted to write about, I found myself flying through stories and crafting passionate pieces that I enjoyed.
When I decided to write for The Reporter, I was instantly drawn to the variety section. Seeing as this was where my creative talents would be valued, I knew this was the section I wanted to write for.
A few weeks in, I realized that writing for variety in college wasn’t exactly like the various articles I wrote in high school. Instead of writing stories that didn’t involve me going out, such as movie and album reviews, I had to go to events all over campus and speak with students who were involved in a variety of groups.
Some of the stories were in my comfort zone, such as attending the shows performed by the MSU Department of Theatre and Dance. Other stories were events that I never would have gone to had I not been assigned to, such as the “Sex in the Dark” event.
Being exposed to a variety of groups and events that were available to students and speaking with a bunch of students, teachers and alumni allowed me to connect and find common ground.
An undergraduate artist and I have similar role models that we look up to. An alumni author and I discussed about finding our passions for writing and why it drives us as humans. An actor and I talked about why the arts are such a valuable contribution to society.
While I will be transitioning to the title of news director next year, I still credit variety for pushing me to grow as a person, whether I was comfortable or not. If you don’t push yourself, you’ll never grow as a person. They say variety is the spice of life and I plan on making the most of it.
Write to: Emma Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org