(Photo courtesy of Ramunas Geciauskas on Flickr)
(Photo courtesy of Ramunas Geciauskas on Flickr)

By SARAH LEWIS, Editor-in-Chief

I spent five days in Chicago last week for the Associated Collegiate Press National College Media Convention (ACP/NCMC). For everyone who has never been to Chicago, it is a breathtaking city.

I know that a lot of people are opposed to traveling to touristy places when visiting cities, but I’m a sucker for bright lights and posed pictures. Sorry…

After visiting a big city, my perspective on journalism completely changed. I realized that I could actually picture myself working in a bustling place like Chicago even though I’ve never thought of myself as a city girl.

I walked into the Chicago Tribune building, and as cheesy as it sounds, it felt like my heart skipped a beat. I could see myself working there…I never thought a place could stimulate me so much, but it did.
For all of you beautiful readers who aren’t savvy with ACP, it was basically a big convention for college students in charge of their newspapers.

Now, I’ve been head over heels in love with newspapers since I was a bald baby wearing a lace bonnet. After spending so much time around thousands of people who share my passion, I couldn’t help but think, “Is this real life?”

Sometimes I believe that I’m the only person in the world who so adores what I do. I get so wrapped up in the here and now that I forget that other people share my love. I guess it took being around people doing the same job I do every single day to realize that I’m not alone.

Of course, I have my staff’s adoration of journalism, but there’s something about feeling the devotion people across the country share with me.

Even though a lot of us had different accents, I couldn’t help but smile when a journalist advisor told me he gets the shakes whenever his iPad has low battery. I know what it’s like to want a digital news source in my hands at all times. I know what it’s like to have the urge to write that same news.

More often than not, it seems like journalists are painted as bad, bad people. Is it just me, or do people imagine us lurking around corners waiting for them to trip up and say one bad thing just so we can rip them apart in our columns? Let me tell you right now, I’m not a scary, skulking creature with a notepad.

The press holds a beautiful freedom thanks to the First Amendment, but still, there’s a lot of gray in the black and white text of newspapers.

I think that sometimes we don’t remember that everyone else is just trying to get by.

Maybe you have a passion for Chemistry, and I will probably not understand that in the least. If we all try to understand where everyone else is coming from, we might get along a whole lot better.

I guess it took a perfect trip to the Windy City to make me realize that not everyone can understand my job, but just because you don’t understand doesn’t mean you can’t ask.

Next time I’m wondering why you care about the size of a mole, I’ll ask you why you care instead of acting like you’re a moron for having a passion.

Remember, we all are obsessed with something. If you try to care about mine, I’ll try to care about yours. Sometimes all we need is a city and some strangers to give us a little inspiration.