Tag Archives: Journalism

Why Do I Write?

This is a simple question that deserves a complex answer. Using answers that are expected— such as it being therapeutic, or me being required to do it for my job, or even just for the pure joy of writing— no longer satisfies me. I want to understand the emotion I derive from writing. Does my writing grant me blissful ignorance to the world’s problems? Does it compound the issues I face as a college student?

Regardless, one thing is certain, writing provides me with some form of comfort. While this is a common occurrence for writers, I find myself wanting to know more about the inner workings of my own personal writings. I want to unravel what goes on in my head as I write. Being that I garner no real thrill from academic writing, this self-discovery will mostly relate to my creative writings. After all, it’s the dreaded time of the year that Millersville holds their (or a different verb) final exams.

Throughout my personal history, I have had multiple instances of straying into the dark path of depression and anxiety. During those times, my creativity came alive; and with that creativity came a flair for dark and disturbing writings. When I attended Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC), I wrote a piece called “Begotten by Hate.” Looking back, this piece was objectively horrible. Reading that story brought me back to a time where the dark thoughts ran rampant. I hated everyone and everything, and the best way I knew to express it was through writing. Thankfully, I am well past that point in my life.

Nowadays, my writing has taken on a more existential flair. My writing is filled with questions about life and what it truly means to be happy. I know it may seem odd to question happiness, but that is how I navigate my way around such emotions. Happiness feels like a foreign concept, as for most of my life, I have felt the complete opposite. Writing is a beacon of hope in these instances, and it is interesting to see what types of conversations I get in with myself over the meaning of life.

A complex answer as to why I write is that I want to not only inform the public, but I want to protect the American people. In recent news, a journalist was butchered in Turkey at a Saudi Arabian embassy. Parts of my family now question whether or not my career path is safe. In all honesty, it does not matter.  In times like these, the need for journalists is greater than ever before.

The reason I write is because it is my duty to use this talent to help others and inform the public. And, though it may seem selfish, I want to prove skeptics wrong. I have autism and I want to prove that it is not, and never will be, a hindrance to my writing. I was told in high school that I would never graduate, and that I would never end up making it to college. Sufficient to say, I kicked down that door of doubt. I am thriving in college and I credit that, in great part, to my writing skills. I proved that guidance counselor wrong and I am continuing to prove that autism does not automatically mean you won’t make it far in life. Autism is not a hindrance to neither me, nor my writing.

Also, huge shout out to a good friend of mine. My EIC at the Snapper is a great human being and helps me out a ton. She even edited this for me!

 

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School is steadily approaching

I start school in six days. The fall semester to be a little more specific and I am getting the before school jitters this week. It seems odd to me this time, however, because I have been in school all summer during all three sessions. The main factor, in my opinion, that is causing me this anxiety and stress is the amount of things that I am taking on this upcoming semester.

To start, I am taking two classes, Fundamentals of Math and Feature Writing and Magazine Journalism. That will not be an issue; I just finished Math 090 with a passing grade and I feel pretty confident going into this Math class. Feature writing and Magazine Journalism will not be a problem either. I write for the school newspaper as opinion editor and my articles could always be transitioned into features easily. The two classes I am taking are not the origin of my stress.

I got a job that I will be doing over the Fall semester and I am grateful that I am able to do this as well. My fear here is that I will not be able to go to work sometimes due to my anxiety. I am working on ways to combat this cycle of worry and so far I am having positive results, which is quite good for me. I desperately need the money and my Social Security Disability is not quite up to how much I need for my bills and other expenses. Here’s hoping to a postive experience at work. I really need this to work.

There are a couple other organizations that I am affiliated with this semester as well. I am, like I stated above, the opinion editor of the Snapper, which is the school newspaper. I am greatly looking forward to working on my writing skills and my interpersonal skills with the staff of the Snapper. It has become a place I am comfortable at and I hope it continues to be that kind of place. I have no reason to think otherwise, but my mind likes to do something I call, “Catastrophizing.” What this is, is when I think, I go to the worst possible outcome and latch onto it and fill myself with dread and anxiety over a overly exaggerated manner. It is not healthy for me at all, but it is a bad habit that I have picked up. Something outside of my self-reflection is needed to combat this and to that end I am in therapy with some talented individuals.

The other organization that I am a part of is the Magic Players of Millersville. A club that is dedicated to the trading card game, Magic the Gathering. I love a format in Magic called Commander or EDH. There was a resignation over the summer and I became the president of the club. I hope that I am able to perform well and gain some more social and leadership knowledge. Just like the Snapper, however, I catastrophize all situations that I think might pop up.

I am hopeful that none of my negative thinking will severely impact me this semester. I really want to have a semester, just once, where I do not have to miss class due to major mental health issues. The same for work. It always frustrates me that this kind of stuff happens to me on a weekly basis and I get fed up with my inability to do tasks that I have either set for myself or have been set for me.

Panic and anxiety attacks are just something that I go through and I understand that, but if there was a way for me to lower that anxiety just a little bit; I think I would do a lot better. The same thing can be said for my depression, which has, on multiple occasions, caused issues. Either with tasks I need to do, my attendance, issues with other people and in general feeling like I am not worth the time or effort that others put into helping me.

Right now, I am nervous about school, but more of the excited nervousness instead of the anxiety based one. I hope I have a good semester and to those who read and also go to school I hope you have a great semester as well!

Rebel Cause Lancaster

I have recently become involved in a charity organization in Lancaster, PA. It is known as Rebel Cause Lancaster.

What is great about me joining Rebel Cause is the validation that it gave. Prior to learning about the group I was close to a point where I did not know what to do with Star Wars. I still loved the franchise, but I had no one to share this love with. I am not even sure how I came across Rebel Cause, but I wrote an article about them for my school newspaper, The Snapper. You can find the article here.

I never imagined what would become of my interaction with Kaden Patrick, the illustrious leader of Rebel Cause, at the American Bar and Grill in Lancaster. Long story short, I joined up with Rebel Cause as a social media/ writer guy.

We recently had an event at a bar in Lancaster called Rumplebrewskins. The event was a great success and I am amazed at how the Star Wars community came together to raise money for Water Street Rescue Mission. It made me proud to be a Star Wars fan once again.

I had lost that pride prior to meeting Kaden and getting it back was one of the greatest feelings I have ever had. Star Wars means many things to me, but the main thing is it was, and continues to be, my rock. It has always been there for me and I will always appreciate what it has done for me.

Knowing that Rebel Cause has my back now is great. Like I said earlier, I feel valid in my love for Star Wars.

Thank you Rebel Cause. You turned out to be my New Hope.

A place that should not feel comfortable, yet it did

I just left New York City. I have been there since Wednesday. I was there because I was attending a conference for journalism. I was quite content there, much to my surprise. Cities are usually a place I do not feel very comfortable in. All the people and all of the sensory things.

I was fine though. Being self aware helped me out for this trip. I had one anxiety spike the whole trip. Not to say there were no stresses, but I did well and had a lot of fun.

My fear going on this trip was that it would be a repeat of last year’s trip and I am happy to say I was wrong. I attended panels and networked with professionals in the journalism field.

I was able to build connections with the rest of the staff for the paper too. I cherish the connections I made this past weekend.

The trip was a success on many levels. I revealed sides of myself that I have never done before. I was communicating what I needed a lot better than usual and I adapted to situations when the need arised.

I am thankful for the group I was able to go with. They are a great group of people. I’m glad that I know them. I never thought I would be at this point in my life. Where I have friends thar legitimately care about me. Before, I did not think I was worthy of that. Now, my thinking differs from that perception.

I learned stuff about myself too during this trip. I revealed my super analytical side to a member of staff and that person is now a confidant for me. I have three now! I never in my life thought I would have such good friends.

Thank you Snapper. I really appreciate you guys.

Back at School, Stress gets renewed

Being back at school has brought with it a sense of accomplishment and a sense of dread. The feeling of accomplishment is the fact that I am able to even go to school. That makes me happy. The sense of dread comes from the fact that I have no job currently. I am afraid that I will fail at finding a job and fail my roommates. I do not want them to shoulder the financial burden.

Continue reading Back at School, Stress gets renewed

Blogging Class!? Sign me up! Feedback wanted!

I am starting, or should I say, begun a class at Millersville on Monday! It is called Digital Media Writing. Which, in my mind, is all about blogging. So far the class is going really well and the texts that we have are very good. I am really excited for the class.

The big reason for this is because I want to make this blog so much better. I want to focus in on what I want to cover and I want to get your guys help with that. What do you think I have been covering the best? If I had to pick, it would be autism related posts. A case could be made for the self help ones though. Both are really strong subjects that I cover.

If I were to just focus on one, which would you guys like to see? Or do you think that a two pronged approach is better? I am gravitating towards two pronged at the moment. If I go two pronged I can continue to use the blog as a outlet and a informational self help blog at the same time.

I would also like some feedback on the blog as a whole if some of you have some free time. I would like to use some more images, but I think that, sometimes, they draw away from what I am trying to say. In some situations they probably would really help out. Do you guys want to see more images? Or would you prefer me to keep it the same as I have?

Please give me some insights and advice on how I can do better. It would not go to waste, I plan on continuing this blog for a long time, and I want to foster a community to help me out. Thanks for reading!

 

Why I am a journalist 

I initially wanted to create games. Then I wanted to write novels. Now, I am a journalist and I am happy I made this decision. 

I want to help people, and the only way that I can do that is by writing. I cannot talk to people the way I want to, but I can write well. I started by just writing reviews or layout, but then I figured out what being an advocate means. I took it to heart and started writing about autism. 

I kept writing about autism too. Then I started branching out to mental health in general. I started to examine myself and look at the world critically. Mainly when people with disabilities are concerned. 

I advocate through words and promote through acceptance. I got my School to light it up blue! I needed a lot of assistance with that and I want to thank those who made it possible. 

That is for another time though. Back to journalism for us. 

Journalism is more than just  writing for me. It is an outlet. I am fortunate to be Opinion editor for my schools newspaper, and with that influence I promote acceptance and awareness for many things.

I feel that taking the title of journalist I have opened myself up to the public and I do not mind. I am not going to say I do not have anything to hide, I do, but I want to be transparent with my audience. 

In light of that I am going to put up some hard stuff soon. It will be hard to type, but I think I can do it.

Thanks to those who read my stuff. Your support is appreciated.