thank u, MJ


During the summer of 2017 I was going into my junior year at UM-Dearborn. I was still unsure about what I wanted to do and if I’m being honest, I still am. There was one thing I did know, I knew I have always loved writing. I was also at a point where I needed to branch out from my personal bubble and find a student organization.

I went on our school website and learned that we had a school newspaper. I saw there were editor and staff writer openings, so I took a chance and reached out, asking to be as involved as I could.

When I got an email back asking if I would be interested in an editor position I felt scared, unprepared yet excited. I had never been part of a student organization before, nor have I had any journalism experience outside of the blog I had at the time. Also, up until this time, I didn’t interact with anyone at school. 

I jumped right in feet first and challenged the shy, meek side of myself. It ended up being the best decision I have ever made. 

In the fall of 2017, I started at the Michigan Journal as the Arts & Entertainment editor. I absolutely loved it. It was something I looked forward to working on every week. From writing multiple articles a week to reading what my staff writers would right to actually building my section; I loved it all and I can honestly say my junior year was my favorite year of college because of the MJ. 

The people at the MJ were welcoming and kind and I finally felt like I found somewhere that I could be me. It was when I started actually enjoying college. 

Since that year, I’ve shifted to multiple positions and have spent my final semester as a staff writer for the A&E section. 

Although over the years I have missed being the A&E editor, I have enjoyed watching others take the position and make it their own, like I did. I have also learned from observing how others handled the position and it has taught me more about my writing and how to work with people who all have the same goal– to write for the sake of writing and to create for the sake of creating. 

So, to wrap up this whole reminiscing sap-fest, I want to leave you with this:  

People always told me that in order to have fun and enjoy commuting to college I had to get involved. I always brushed that off because I was never the one to join a club or put myself out there. I have always been- I don’t want to say loner, but- a loner at times. 

When I stepped out of my comfort zone and joined the MJ I realized that those people were right. Joining the MJ has taught more things about myself and about life than I can count. It has given me the confidence I never had before and it has taught me that regardless of what I’m doing, I should never be afraid to challenge myself into trying new things or going for things I want to do.

I would encourage you to do the same.


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Nicole is in her final semester here at UMD. She'll be graduating in December with a major in Journalism and a double minor in Communications and Psychology. She started at the Michigan Journal during her junior year as the A&E editor and has held different editor positions, and now writes as a staff writer for the A&E section. She likes to write about fashion and runs her own fashion blog, "not your average." Check her out on Instagram and LinkedIn: