If there’s one thing I hate, it’s introductions. Remember college orientation, when you had to say an interesting fact about yourself to a group of strangers you’re going to spend the next four years with? Of course, the only thing you could think of was being able to pop your thumbs out of socket. Yeah, those were fun times.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind talking as long as I’m the one asking questions and I’m not forced to rattle off my uninteresting resume of accomplishments.
I’ve always had a natural curiosity to hear other people’s stories rather than my own. Even as a kid, along with devouring every fairy tale book in the house, my two cousins and I pretended we were the spies from the old TV show, “The Avengers” and solved mysteries involving our icons, The Beatles.
Although I’m only 21, I might as well be going on 81. I was raised on a steady diet of Cary Grant movies, warped Beatles’ records and musty Nancy Drew books.
Along with my love for learning stories, it was actually one of these things that led me to journalism specifically.
Hildy Johnson sparked my passion for journalism. I was 12 years old when I first saw the 1940 film “His Girl Friday” and I became awestruck with the thrill of being a reporter. Chasing sources and exposing salacious stories seemed like the most amazing lifestyle.
It was this excitement that led me to pursue an internship at the Kirkland Reporter after my junior year of high school. I experienced the frustration of speaking to noncompliant sources who slammed doors in my face and I experienced the joy of people complimenting me on how I told their story. My internship changed my rose-tinted perspective of journalism. Journalism is not for selfish fulfillment — it is for selfless offering.
I am living out being editor-in-chief at Northwest University’s online newspaper. I devote sleep-deprived days to assign stories, edit and post articles and council the staff. There are times I doubt my aspiration due to feeling exhausted and unfulfilled. However, I know journalism is not to serve me, but I am to serve it.
Journalism isn’t like the movies. Hildy Johnson couldn’t survive real journalism. It’s hard, arduous and stressful. But it’s all worth the effort to know that you have been able to tell stories the way they were intended, and that’s what I’m going to do here as I serve the Bellevue community this summer.
Maddi Miller is an intern for the Bellevue Reporter. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.