Schnipke: Giving up a hobby to follow my passion

August 30, 2017

When I first started writing for the Independent Collegian in the fall of 2015, I was in my second year of college and my first semester without participating in marching band in seven years. 


I gave up on my love of playing the trumpet so that I could have time to focus on my new dream. I came to the University of Toledo with one goal in mind and that was to graduate with a degree that would allow me to pursue a career in journalism.


Once I got into the swing of things, I knew that I had made the right choice. Fitting into the staff at the IC was such a breeze; it was like I was always a part of the team. 


Besides finding new friends, I gained a new perspective on what I wanted to do with my life. Working on staff gives me a learning experience that I could never gain within the classroom. I always thought of myself as a regular learner, because memorizing textbooks and reciting facts comes easily to me. 


But with journalism, you can’t really learn that from a book. You can’t even really learn it from a professor. Journalism is something you learn by doing.


The IC gives me that exact opportunity. I get to interview and talk with university administrators, student leaders, famous musicians and art curators from other countries. 


I spend my time writing, which I love to do. I spend more time writing for the IC than I do for any of my classes. I have grown as a writer since my first published article because of the IC and the feedback I have received. I’ve grown to understand what constitutes good journalism and how to achieve that.


Through what I like to think of as luck and a crazy set of coincidences, I was able to move through the ranks of the newspaper staff fairly quickly. 


I started at the IC in September of 2015, became associate community editor, worked as full community editor, and shifted to managing editor before taking on the role of editor-in-chief. 


When I first started, I couldn’t have even imagined that I would be in charge of the newspaper before I would graduate. It’s like my wildest dreams coming true. The IC quickly became my one true love after joining. I couldn’t even begin to calculate how much time I have spent working for the newspaper. 


When I mentioned keeping a log of my hours to my friends, they jokingly said I spend 22 hours of the day thinking about the IC, and the other two are spent dreaming about it.


Not a moment goes by without me seeing something and thinking: How could we do that at our newspaper? Or thinking: I need to text that cool sports thing to the sports editor and that event should be covered by community. 
My days are spent thinking about the wellbeing of our student newspaper.


It’s hard to love the IC so much when I know that other students on campus don’t even know that we exist or can’t be bothered to even pick up the paper. But the work we do isn’t for them, it’s for the students and staff who read the paper on a regular basis and care about the news we provide. 


To me, the IC is much more than a job or internship, it’s my obsession and my passion. 


I spent six of the 10 hours I was on campus for the first day of school in the IC office, and it wasn’t even deadline day. 


I am fully committed to seeing the newspaper succeed and grow. By giving up one hobby, I found my true calling and I can’t wait to see where it takes me.

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