I’ve lost many hours of sleep working at the North Wind.
While other college students pulled late nights studying for tests and pumping out projects, I spent mine working on a college newspaper. Every Wednesday night for the past two years I’ve spent helping to put together the North Wind, and for this last semester, I was the one who saw it all the way to its completion. By the time most sensible people had already gone to bed, I would be just leaving the office to drop off the paper to be printed, then heading home to start my homework for the next day.
But really, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
It wasn’t long after I started working at the North Wind that I realized it was often a lot more enjoyable and a lot more interesting than most of my classes. And there have been plenty of times that getting work done for the paper took precedence over getting work done for school. But I can honestly say that the practical application of the skills I have learned here at NMU has served me far better than just sitting in a classroom and learning them.
What I’ve learned while working at the North Wind has already proved invaluable. It has provided me with a unique and marketable skill set and has landed me a job after graduation. It has given me a deep understanding of journalistic and ethical values. It has taught me about the power of information in a changing news environment.
But of course, I didn’t do it alone. I’ve a number of people to thank for sparking my interest and keeping it going – even during the times when I would have liked to quit: Cate Terwilliger, Jim McCommons and Jane Milkie, as professors and advisors, for their guidance and sound advice; Jackie Stark and Kyle Whitney, my North Wind mentors, who left me with very big shoes to fill (and I had very small feet); and Hugh Spaguolo, who taught me to love writing, storytelling and people, and without whom, I would not be where I am today.
Also, my staff, who always get the job done, have always filled the late nights with laughs and have made even the low points bearable.
And lastly, my parents, who are no doubt horrified by reading this, for supporting me (in every possible way) through all 4.5 years of my college career.
So, as I leave the North Wind and NMU, I realize that I probably could have gotten a higher GPA or graduated with honors or some other academic achievement, but in the end, I did all the achieving I wanted in another way. I worked alongside a tireless group of students every single week to put out a publication; tangible proof of the dedication of all of us.
So sure, maybe some of those B’s could have been A’s, or those C’s could have been B’s, but in the grand scheme of things, it never really compared to picking up an issue of the paper every Thursday. And of course, I could have gotten a lot more rest, but in the end, I would rather make a newspaper any day of the week than get a few extra hours of sleep.