Two and a half years ago, I was going through one of the darkest times of my life. I was in a toxic relationship that made me feel worthless, I was hanging out with a group of people who weren’t truly my friends and I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do in life.
I was crying every single day for hours because of my situation and my anxiety. I wasn’t even sure I could finish my degree because I felt so lost and out of control.
But then at the beginning of the second semester of my sophomore year, I started writing for The Castleton Spartan newspaper – and everything changed.
Writing has always been something I loved, but I never imagined myself writing for a newspaper until my mom suggested I give it a try.
So, I went to journalism professor David Blow and he immediately told me I should come to the newspaper meetings and start writing.
After this first step, I immediately felt lighter. I felt like there was hope and I knew this was going to be the turning point for me. I still can remember my first story and how cool I thought it was that my writing was published in a newspaper.
Writing for the paper helped me find my voice and my worth again.
It gave me a purpose that I never expected to find in such a low point in my life and I’m forever grateful.
At the end of that first semester, I had completely changed my life for the better. I had gotten out of my bad relationship, I cut ties with the people in my life who caused more harm than good and I really just started to throw myself into my writing, which paid off because after only two semesters, I was an editor.
The opportunities I have gotten through this newspaper have been the most incredible experiences of my life. I got to meet and interview Sen. Bernie Sanders, I got to go to New York City two years in a row with others on the newspaper staff for the College Media Association Conference and I have gotten to write so many interesting stories about what the people here at Castleton are accomplishing, while also keeping students informed about what’s going on.
I wouldn’t be the writer, or even the person I am today if I hadn’t started writing for The Spartan. During difficult times, it was my safe haven. Every single person I have worked with on the newspaper is someone I would call a friend.
The paper truly gave me a sense of belonging that I hadn’t felt before at Castleton.
If it wasn’t for all the coaching and encouragement from Dave and other reporters on the staff, I think I’d probably still be searching for my purpose in life.
I’m sad this will be my last issue with the paper because I really don’t know what is next for me, but I also feel confident I’ll be able to find my way because of all those who believed in me when I needed it the most and all the experiences I’ve had while working on the newspaper.