Personal, academic growth intertwine

If there’s one thing I learned in four years, it’s what makes a good story. As I’ve worked on more than a hundred stories through The Miami Hurricane, I’ve seen my share of articles and experienced the thrill and angst of working on deadline.

As much as I’m aching to quote a musical or joke about our hit mockumentary about the TMH Newsroom, I feel a rush of emotions knowing that this chapter of my life is coming to a close.

For someone who is used to getting lost in books and pages, I’ve found myself working on the ink-stained newsprint. Behind the stories in these pages are countless drafts, in the same way each year at UM I’ve been drafting a version of myself. 

With each story I’ve written, my personal narrative has developed, challenging me to seek truth, explore different perspectives and embrace the unconventional.

I feel blessed knowing I found something I’m passionate about and even more grateful about finding a group of people who share that love. What’s a story without a great cast of characters? My newsroom family has been there to celebrate (or have meltdowns) with, break out into Broadway songs and make “Gilmore Girls” references. This newsroom has been the backdrop of my favorite memories at UM and when we’re not driving each other completely insane, we’ve challenged ourselves to be better, write harder stories and create strong content.

Beyond working on a biweekly tabloid, we’ve been working on ourselves and shaping our identities. I’ve learned you have to take a page out of Natasha Bedingfield’s book and embrace the fact that your story is still unwritten – and revel in the freedom that presents.

Ashley Martinez is graduating with majors in journalism and psychology.

This article originally appeared in The Miami Hurricane April 22, 2015.