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Student Journalism and Me: A Timeline

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August 2014. I was a freshman surrounded by endless opportunities to be something. We were urged to visit the club fair, the perfect place to begin the next four years of a freshman’s life.

I found myself uninterested, unimpressed, and annoyed there was not one organization that called my name. Photography? No, thanks. Yearbook? Been there, done that. Greek life? Not up my alley. School newspaper? Ah, hah…

I made my way to the organization’s table: The Charger Bulletin. It had a charming ring to it. I could work with this.

And so I did.

For the next year or so, I copy edited every puny detail of every week’s paper. With my red pen, I underlined, I crossed out, and became the grammar police. I sat in the office for a couple of hours every Monday evening to cleanse the newspaper of errors. I was starving, sometimes drained, but always happy to be surrounded by writers and editors.

August 2015. I wrote a paper for an English class. After my professor graded it, he pulled me to the side, “Alessia. You didn’t meet the requirements for this essay, but you wrote an incredible article. You’re a journalist.”

A journalist? But I was an English major.

I went to the opinions editor to submit my first article. She looked at me confused, wondering why I hadn’t been writing for the past year. Well, I didn’t know I was capable of journalism.

Every week, I wrote an opinion piece, and I was pretty good at it. In fact, I would later become the opinions editor.

I was given creative freedom. I was the youngest one in that cluttered student newsroom, but the editors thought I was good. I even created a few sections, which I carried through for the rest of my college career. On top of that, journalism became my minor. It was the tiniest, but most crucial piece to the puzzle of my college career that I was trying so hard to piece together.

August 2016. I became the opinions editor, and God, I loved it — so much so that I applied for the position again the following year.  

August 2017. Round two. Pronounced the opinions editor. This time around, things got even more serious. I had office hours, which made my work so much more enjoyable. I got to meet one-on-one with my writers, critique them, check in on them, advise them. I became a full-on editor.

April 2018. I’m graduating in less than a month. The thing I’ll miss most? The student newsroom where I became a journalist. #SaveStudentNewsrooms.  

Alessia Bicknese, Opinion Editor

Alessia Bicknese is a senior studying English, Journalism, and Education. This is her fourth year with the Charger Bulletin. Alessia started out as a copy...

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Student Journalism and Me: A Timeline