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By Lindsay Kriz
KPA Summer Intern
During my freshman year of high school, I wanted to be an archaeologist. I would watch specials on Egypt and imagine myself as the girl in the sands, dusting off ancient dirt from dried-out flesh. My sophomore year, I was undecided, though I knew archaeology was probably out. In between my sophomore and junior year I decided that the fantastic world of novel-writing was for me. Sadly though, I would write down book ideas, maybe jot down a few outlines and even a few actual paragraphs, but each story never went anywhere, and I always struggled with a decent plot that could actually fill 150-200 pages.
Then, my junior year, my mother helped guide me into my chosen major and career path, and helped determine where I would go to college. When I told her about my ambitions to be a published author, she said, “That’s great, Lindsay. But it won’t happen right away. How are you going to pay the bills while you wait? By waiting tables?” Which is an admirable job, of course, but mom knew that that wouldn’t bring me satisfaction. So she suggested that I take the journalism route. “You can write, like you want to, and you have instant gratification. And you can write novels while you’re working at a paper.” The idea appealed to me - I’d be able to continue writing, as I desired, and the gratification would be instant, as would the pay like mom said. I’d been involved with my middle school’s newspaper and yearbook, and felt it gave me good experience, so I joined my high school’s newspaper and yearbook right away. Once I chose my major, choosing a college fell into place easily. There were three schools in Kentucky that had an accredited journalism program: Murray State University, the University of Kentucky and Western Kentucky University. I visited all three schools, and decided that Western was the best place for me. It was a large school, but not impersonal, far enough away from home and it had one of the best student publications in the country.
I’ve been at Western for two years now, completing my sophomore year three weeks ago. I’ve been an employee for the school’s newspaper, the College Heights Herald and the school’s Talisman yearbook. During my time at both publications, I’ve learned more than I could ever learn in a classroom (although classes are valuable as well!), including how to write proper leads, how to deal with sources professionally, how to make deadlines and what it means to be a reporter/copy editor. While calling sources can still make me nervous, and while I still sometimes prefer to write fiction over fact, I truly enjoy my career as a journalist, and hope to continue it when I finally enter into the “real world.” However, in the meantime, I am content with where I am. Features are my favorite type of story to write (creativity and fact combined), and while I’m here I hope to produce pieces that inspire, move and inform the citizens of Lebanon.