Opinion – I did not want to be a journalist


Ayanna Allen/NW

RECOGNITION — A picture of my awards for the fall 2022 publishing season at The North Wind.

Ayanna Allen

Every English major hears the words, “What are you going to do with that?” at least once in their lives. The phrase loomed in the back of my mind since I transferred to NMU in the fall semester of 2020. Truthfully, I had dreams and I had goals, but I did not even know where to begin with reaching them. 

I did not want to be a journalist. But, when I was faced with the prospect of graduating with no experience in my field, I knew I had to figure something out. I remember seeing an ad for a staff writer position at the North Wind on Handshake and feeling like the news desk was the last place someone like me would fit in. 

I went for it anyway, and to my pleasant surprise, I got the job. It was kind of a rush! I was stepping into the unknown – new people, new writing styles, interviewing strangers, putting out my work for anyone to see… woof! I would go to bed every night absolutely baffled that I was contributing something to my community, and it made me feel whole. 

I loved being someone students and faculty could rely on, especially when it came to investigative and informational pieces. 

One of my favorite memories at the North Wind is when I got the opportunity to do an investigative piece on why the science building was renamed. I knew many people had questions, and I was going to answer them! 

I spent nearly an hour speaking to university Historian Dr. Russell Magnaghi about all he had uncovered. Then, it took me a week and a half to compile all of the documents Magnaghi gave me as evidence and another two days to make my article perfect. The North Wind even gave me an award for the article! I mean, it is just a piece of paper, but it is one of my prized possessions. 

Another super amazing experience we had was The North Wind’s 50th anniversary. The staff got to sit in the President’s Box for a hockey game. Not only did we have a spectacular view, but it was catered with awesome food. My co-workers might have seen me at my ugliest and drunkest, cursing in a blaze of anger at the opposing team, but it was the most fun I have had in a long time! 

I cannot even begin to explain the immense joy that comes with being a staff writer – and now, an assistant news editor – for The North Wind. I met one of my best friends, made countless other friendships and went to so many unique events. I now feel prepared to step into even more unknowns. 

It is bittersweet graduating. I did not want to be a journalist. But, I am.