Kristen Koehler: North Wind staff members bid farewell

Kristen Koehler

There’s nothing quite like opening my email expecting to find Patagonia web specials and instead discovering a final literature analysis paper I thought I had days to work on is due in four hours.

Photo Editor: Kristen Koehler
Photo Editor: Kristen Koehler

Like clockwork, a wave of panic encompassed my entire body, a feeling most college students can unfortunately relate to, followed by more than a few words of profanity. Thankfully my mini meltdown was replaced by a sense of steady determination. Not only was this the last paper of my college career but I was used to receiving last- minute assignments. Working under pressure was nothing new; it is simply the way of life at the North Wind newspaper.

Looking back at myself as an incoming freshman, I was excited to get involved in a student organization, but was intimidated by all of the possibilities. When I joined the North Wind staff a year later as a news photographer, I wasn’t quite sure what I had gotten myself into. I had very little experience or knowledge of journalism. I realized early on that not everyone enjoys being photographed, particularly sweaty old men working out at the PEIF, who had no problem verbalizing their dislike directly to my face.

It wasn’t until I joined the editorial staff as a senior that I truly understood the meaning of a deadline; essentially, I was screwed if an assignment was not done on time. While this led to many sleepless nights and frantic calls to my mom, as if she could fix the situation, I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. Although there was a definite learning curve in terms of the job responsibilities, I have The North Wind to thank for a lot of my own personal development.  Not only was I given the opportunity to delegate tasks and learn about journalism from a more managerial standpoint, I was also able to eat the most delicious food, provided by our adviser Kristy Basolo, every Wednesday night.

Production night at The North Wind can be described as frantic and unpredictable yet somehow lighthearted and fun. There’s nothing like walking down the hallway towards the office and hearing ‘90s jams getting louder and louder. While the staff may change over the years, it seems the music never does.

By far my favorite element of working at the North Wind has been the sense of camaraderie amongst the staff.

I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with many extremely talented individuals and formed lasting friendships. We have epitomized the word “teamwork” at the North Wind, whether it is handing cameras through car windows to photograph a last minute event, rushing off to report breaking news for another editor or huddling around a computer discussing page layouts.

Overall, my past four and a half years at college has been nothing short of a whirlwind. Specifically, a tornado of assignments and to-dos swirling around in my head until I realized sophomore year students use planners for a reason — to avoid insanity.

Of course there are certain experiences I will not miss upon graduating. This includes being so busy preparing for one single exam that all other homework seems to disappear, which in fact it does not.

I will miss working for the North Wind. I can honestly say it was the most beneficial experience I have had throughout my years at Northern and I would not be the person I am today without having had this opportunity.