I’d do it for free 

My co-editor copyediting on a Wednesday night

“All you get is $200?” My friend asked incredulously. “Why would you work for so little?”

I leaned against the wall. “I mean, I guess I just love doing it. I would do it for free.”

“Still!” She said, spinning slightly in her chair. “It’s the principle of the thing.”

“Well, I don’t know. I guess I just really like it. I mean, journalism is what I want to do. Working for the paper is part of that.”

I walked home that night from the newsroom at 2:30 am.

This year, I will spend every Wednesday night locked in a back room of the student union, furiously reading, editing, re-reading, re-editing, panicking slightly, then reading again. Once the paper is sent to the printer–sometime between 11 and midnight–we start uploading the stories to the website, scheduled to be published in the morning.

At 1 am, it’s often me and my co-assistant editor blearily copy/pasting stories into WordPress, our editor-in-chief sticking it out with us until the end. The room is quiet, except for a few questions and maybe some soft music.

For some, there is nothing appealing in these long nights, and I understand. Sneaking into your room at 2 am leaves little time for homework or sleep. Stuffing interviews between classes and rewrites into scraps of weekend means your calendar is your best friend.

But I can’t imagine doing anything else.

It becomes addicting. I have the opportunity to attend events and speak with people I normally wouldn’t. I get to poke around in the inner workings of people and places and times.
Journalism is not just about politics or crime or the latest news. It is about stories. Those aspects are part of that, but journalism is essentially story-telling.

Well-written, fact-checked, AP-stylized storytelling, but storytelling all the same.

Journalism has granted me the privilege of telling the stories of the people around me. I am a voice for those who need it, a lens through which people can read about the interesting bits of life. Even when I write on things that aren’t of explicit interest to me, I still love it. When you get the opportunity to talk to people passionate about what they do, about what they love, you cannot help but get excited too. You cannot help but want to tell their story.

Journalism feeds my sense of adventure, but gives it a purpose. The adventure is no longer for its own sake, but to share it with others, too.

Seeing people read my articles, knowing I told a story they hadn’t previously heard, that I possibly inspired action or brought up emotion, is why I want to be a journalist. Through journalism, I am a storyteller, and stories are a powerful tool.

Being a storyteller makes the odd hours, late nights, stressed rewrites, long events, and, yes, even the low pay worth it.

All of it, somehow, means my favorite place in the world is the little back room on Wednesday nights, stuffed to the brim with papers and people, sipping on coffee, sharing stories with the world.

Perhaps, they pay me too much.

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Surprise, I’m not an extrovert

I used to absolutely adore parties. Not the raucous drinking and dancing parties of college, but the middle-school, my-parents-dropped-me-off parties someone would host once a month. I was extroverted beyond belief. I couldn’t wait to go out. I would be texting 3 friends and talking to 4 more on Facebook. I lived and breathed people.

As I got older, these events began to exhaust me. Groups seemed louder and conversation was harder. I became tired more quickly, but I couldn’t understand what had changed. As an extrovert, I knew I was supposed to be energized by these events, so I kept making myself attend, even though they were actually draining me. I was working under a false impression of myself, and it was negatively affecting how I reenergized.

Then one day I stumbled across the definition of an “ambivert” and the heavens opened. A choir of angels descended from the sky and blessed me never having to attend a party again with sweet angelic song.

Someone who is ambiverted is neither extroverted nor introverted, but is instead a mix of the two.

I am an extroverted-ambivert, meaning I still lean toward the extroverted side. For me, this means that I draw energy from small groups of people, but shut down at large events. I can stay up all night with three people, but prefer watching movies alone to attending a house party.

Knowing that I draw my energy from both staying in and going out has changed the way I interact with people and how I take care of myself. Knowing what kind of interaction is best for me means I won’t put myself into situations where I stress myself out more. I use this knowledge to make sure I am at my best.

The more you know about yourself, the better you can take care of yourself. I definitely believe that if I had not realized I was ambiverted before college, I would have tried to reenergize by going out on the weekends, because that’s what I was “supposed” to be doing as an extrovert. Instead, I know that staying in or socializing with just a few friends is a far better way for me to relax and prepare myself the fresh hell of Monday.

If you’re an incoming freshman (or even if you’re not), I encourage you to take a Myers-Briggs test. You answer a few simple questions and it will tell you your personality type, including how extroverted or introverted you are. The more near the middle you are, the more you share traits from both sides of the personality spectrum.

When I first took this test, probably sometime during late middle school/early high school, my introversion/extroversion results leaned heavily extroverted (somewhere above 50%). Because personalities shift as a person matures, levels of introversion/extroversion can change, too. My latest result told me I was 3% extroverted, meaning I am almost exactly in the middle of being introverted or extroverted, with a very slight leaning toward extroversion. This fits exactly with what I observed about myself.

The official Myers-Briggs test costs money, but I like THIS knockoff, as it tells you the percentages of your results.

Share your personality type! Are you introverted, extroverted, or ambiverted? What are some of your self-care tips?

Conversations

I am a Christian, who comes from a family of Christians, who has long-time friends who are predominately Christians. Despite—or perhaps because of—this, I find myself lacking the very thing I should be having in abundance: conversations about Christianity.

It’s not that my friends and family don’t talk about subjects like gay marriage, abortion, modesty, or growing in our faith. It just turns out that when you already know what your friends are going to say, having those difficult discussions just isn’t the same.

When I came to Summit, I expected to hear about those particular topics (and others) and maybe talk about them. After all, small groups and class discussions provided a built-in a space to listen to others’ thoughts and share your own. As promised, I have been completely challenged by the lectures. Not only have they strengthened my faith, but they have given me the tools to understand exactly why I believe what I do and how to challenge others’ beliefs.

What I didn’t expect were the conversations outside the classroom. Summit is full of students who are not only willing, but eager, to share their thoughts on Christianity and the tough topics. Whether staying up to talk about Catholicism with my roommate or hiking and discussing what modesty really is, I am consistently surrounded by people who are ready to have in-depth discussions about difficult subjects.

As someone who learns best through discussion and debate, these talks have been the highlight of my time at Summit. Comparing ideas—with or without mutual agreement—feeds me in a way mere lecture or Christian companionship cannot.

One discussion that particularly struck me took place at lunch. As someone who is interested in the film industry, I frequently become frustrated with Christian movies because they are often poorly written, directed, and acted. As a result, they often fall short of their intent: sharing the gospel with a fallen world. I started talking with group of students about the well-known Christian movie God’s Not Dead and how it was largely ineffective. We discussed not only this movie, but the entire Christian movie industry and what needed to change to make it effective. Knowing that other students see the same flaws and share the same passions as I do—and are willing to discuss how to fix them—excites me. Although this discussion wasn’t a “hard-hitting” topic like homosexuality or abortion, it allowed me to hear others’ thoughts about a subject close to my own heart.

The students at Summit are what really make Summit. The speakers spark the thoughts, but the students drive them home. Being surrounded by students who not only live a Christian life, but discuss it as well is something that is different for me. It turns out, though, it is exactly what I needed.

I am a Christian, who comes from a family of Christians, who has long-time friends who are predominately Christians. And I plan to start having more of the very thing I should have in abundance: conversations about Christianity.

51 Things to Know about me

Besides my name (Jordyn), my age (18), and where I live (Michigan), these are 51 things to know about me:

  1. I’m a Christian
  2. I’m homeschooled
  3. My room is covered with photos of my friends
  4. I keep the ticket and program from every Broadway show I see
  5. My first concert was Taylor Swift
  6. I want to go into journalism
  7. I dual-enroll at a local college
  8. History is not my subject.
  9. My birthday is in January.
  10. My room is painted an obnoxious green color and I absolutely love it.
  11. I have a small, but ever-growing, collection of rubber ducks.
  12. The only time I’ve been out of the country was to Canada.
  13. I have a weird hatred for Ohio engrained into me because I am from Michigan.
  14. The state I have visited the most is Colorado.
  15. I took Latin for 6 years.
  16. I rode an elephant once at circus.
  17. I have a black belt in Shotokan karate.
  18. The Victorian era is my favorite time in history.
  19. I love coloring books.
  20. When I was little, I was once so insistent on not getting a shot, it took two nurses and a doctor to hold me down.
  21. Spiders are the worst.
  22. I really disliked the movie The Fault in Our Stars, even though I loved the book.
  23. I hate the characters Marius and Cosette from Les Miserables almost as much as I hate Romeo and Juliet.
  24. I really, really hate Romeo and Juliet (but also still love it).
  25. My favorite Shakespeare plays are Much Ado About Nothing and Taming of the Shrew.
  26. If the bathroom door is not shut, I can’t go to sleep.
  27. Flying on an airplane doesn’t scare me. Not being able to touch the bottom of a lake does.
  28. I have traveled more alone than I have with my family.
  29. I once got a flask as a Christmas present. I don’t drink.
  30. I hoard chocolate because if I don’t, I won’t have chocolate.
  31. I hate shopping malls.
  32. I have a piggy bank dedicated solely to pennies.
  33. I take naps on a weekly basis.
  34. I know how to swing dance.
  35. If I could have any superpower, it would be to fill things up. My bank account, my enemies’ bladders, my water glass. It would make my life so much easier.
  36. I once won an all-expenses paid trip to a writing camp in Hannibal, Missouri to learn about Mark Twain, and it was one of the coolest experiences of my life.
  37. One of my favorite books has been, and will always be, Percy Jackson and the Olympians.
  38. When I was 13, I owned a hot pink sweatshirt with two fighting cartoon cookies that had the caption “tough cookies.”
  39. I own exactly three pairs of heels.
  40. The futon in my room doubles as my closet because I am incredibly lazy.
  41. I do most of my writing after midnight.
  42. One of my favorite things to do is nothing.
  43. One of my worst tendencies is to keep everything. Every. Thing.
  44. My least favorite people are the ones who are so insecure that they make themselves feel better by drawing attention to themselves.
  45. I can’t grow out my nails to save my life.
  46. I still sleep with a teddy bear.
  47. I love teaching children.
  48. I have the best group of friends.
  49. I have always wanted to be in a production of Les Mis.
  50. This is my third attempt at a blog.
  51. I am happy.