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OPINION: Joining CM Life staff was the best choice I've ever made


The long, rattling ride in the Moore Hall elevator did nothing to calm my nerves. 

I was a freshman on my way to the Central Michigan Life office for the first time, wishing nothing more than to join the editorial staff.

Four years later, as the editor in chief of the paper, there's nowhere else I feel more at home. I've experienced my greatest successes and most humbling failures in this office. Here, I've worked 14 hour days designing pages and writing cover stories. I've skipped classes to break news and substituted meals with cheddar Ruffle chips and vending machine coffee. I've had panic attacks and laughed until my stomach hurt in this news room.

News never sleeps, and sometimes we went without sleep in order to tell another story, log another byline, or elevate someone else's experience to our readership.

For as much as this job wore me down in my four years, I wouldn't have had it any other way. Not only have I had the privilege of understanding the interworking of this great community I've called home for my entire college career — but I've found my family along the way.

Because of the nature of this job, I firmly believe you'll never find more genuine people than journalists. The pay is low, but the order is high in this industry. What we lacked in money to spend on doubles at the bar, we made up for with our shared passion to do this job. 

I've never been in a more inspirational environment than the CM Life office. My predecessors are my biggest role models and I'm happy to say I've adopted at least some of their wisdom and even passed it along to the future leaders of the news room.

For as much time and effort I've put into CM Life, I know it has given me more. It has truly made me the person I am today. The opportunities I've had here have let me interview the top administrators at this school, and the countless students that make up the fabric of CMU. They trusted me with their stories, and I was able to give them a voice.

In my final days as editor in chief, I'm confident the paper is in good hands. My time is almost up, and I need to let someone else take my place. 

The next wave of freshmen are anxiously riding up the mostly-functional Moore Hall elevator hoping to tell the stories of the campus community. I can only hope they have just as many headaches trying to write headlines that aren't corny and cliche and spend just as many Thursdays at The Bird laughing about insane reader comments with their colleagues.

I never knew joining the CM Life staff would have this profound impact on the course of my career and my life. It's something that changed me on a fundamental level and I know it will stick with me forever.


About Kate Carlson

Editor-in-Chief Kate Carlson is a senior from Lapeer who is majoring in journalism with a minor in ...

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