We all know that imminent, beautiful doom that comes with the dawning of a new semester. We prepare ourselves for only the best, as we should, to keep ourselves comfortable with the idea that we’ll be spending yet another semester paying others for our education.

I like to think that some of the best learning happens outside the classroom – behind the walls of buildings that provide no educational certificates and outside amongst nature’s finest creations. Humans are exploratory creatures, ones that have the option to discover the drive within that pushes us to find a purpose.

Universities provide just a small piece the education spectrum; learning inside a stuffy classroom with four walls while the kid in front eats his god-awful tuna sandwich can only provide so much.

I will say this: College creates both professional and colleague connections and can, in some logistical way, prepare you for the adult world – but what about the real world? The one where people die for expressing their opinions? The one where creatures yet to be discovered roam right beneath our nose?

I want to travel and explore the world because I can’t imagine never knowing, never learning. I want to dip my toes into cultures vastly different than mine in order to understand my own  human experience. Journalism will do that for me. I never would have known my calling had I never stopped in at the Free Press.

It provides me an education with real-world experience. Most of our stories have to relate back to USM in some way, but I have the opportunity to explore anything of my interest. I also work for the Journal Tribune, a daily newspaper in York County, so I’m always on the go and always learning more about the community in which I am a part of. One minute I’m interviewing child survivors of burn injuries and being inspired by the challenges they’ve overcome, the next minute I’m dissecting racial discrimination and its prevalence here in Portland.

Ultimately, my message is this: Aspire to inspire. Learn about the world around you and you’ll find the key to your own happiness (something money can never truly do). Everyone at the Free Press is so kind and welcoming; we’re willing to help you find your niche in life, regardless of your interests and we’re all motivated by the idea of finding our purpose in this big, scary world.

This semester, we’re working hard to provide our audiences with interesting, new and improved content. Our social media sites will be up and running again, after a long semester of re-vamping our website. If you’d like to join the team or have suggestions for further improvement, don’t hesitate to email me at [email protected]. Regardless of your schedule, we can work something out if you’re really dedicated to indulging yourself in the world of Journalism.

I hope the coming semester is as enlightening as I hope it is for myself. Work hard, procrastinate less and save your money. It can be tempting to visit Mr. Bagel each morning for a lox cream cheese bagel (okay, maybe this is only me) but saving your change can be the first stepping stone for your future. Money, according to most, is the key to happiness…. or is it?


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