It’s okay to be “just a freshman”

Katelyn Black, Lifestyle Editor

When I first came to UW-Whitewater last fall, the only goal I had for myself was to do well in school. For me, this meant that clubs and activities were the last thing on my mind because I figured they would only hurt my GPA. Still, when my journalism professor mentioned recruitment night for the Royal Purple during class one day, something told me that I absolutely had to go, even though I’ll admit to being a little hesitant.

At that point I was still caught up in the idea of dedicating all of my free time to homework, but I eventually worked up the courage to go, telling myself that it really wouldn’t hurt to check it out. So with an open mind I went to the meeting and immediately felt drawn to the Lifestyle section. It sounded really interesting, and I figured I could start off as a staff writer and write a few articles here and there, which seemed doable.

And then before I knew it there I was accepting the editor position that I had told myself was too big of a job for me because, in my mind, I was “just a freshman.” Now, I won’t lie and say that the transition was completely smooth. There were lots of times when I would feel pretty overwhelmed and basically terrified, but it was a really good kind of terrified.

I began to face my fears, learn a ton of new things about journalism, meet some really great people and find my balance between schoolwork and activities. Sure I was “just a freshman”, but ever since taking this opportunity, the phrase no longer has that negative connotation.

These last four months have taught me that I shouldn’t be afraid of being inexperienced and making mistakes, because if I would have let that stop me, I wouldn’t be here. And the same goes for anything else on campus. Whether it’s a sports team, a club or an organization, if you truly want to do it, it’s worth a try. And the bottom line is, as much as you think it might, it truly doesn’t matter if you’re fresh out of high school with no experience in something. All you need is a willingness to learn, a few people who believe in you and a little bit of courage. I promise you, it’s well worth it.