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2019-2020 News Editor of Academics Sage Smith.

I have always been a writer.

From a very young age, I knew I wanted to write novels, short stories, poetry and more. It wasn’t until college that I truly discovered my passion for journalism.

In high school I was on the newspaper staff, which was a great experience. I loved seeing my name in print and being a part of such a cool organization. But when I came to college I started as a biology major.

I realized biology labs and chemistry classes wasn’t for me. Over the fall 2018 winter break, I made the decision to officially switch my major to Journalism and Mass Communications.

That switch was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

I knew of the Iowa State Daily and I had considered giving it a try. I listened to the recruitment speech from Mark Witherspoon, Iowa State Daily’s editorial adviser, three times in three separate classes at the beginning of my second semester of college. I knew I had to join the Daily.

I became one of the beat reporters for women’s and gender issues, and I loved it. I had the chance to meet incredible people, attend unique events and hear various perspectives from faculty, students and staff. The newsroom was always welcoming, and I had the ‘these are my people’ feeling.

Throughout my eight weeks as a women’s and gender issues beat reporter, I wrote 14 articles including event coverage, feature pieces and issue pieces. One of my most memorable articles was "The Talk: The impact pornography can have on you." The Talk was a series about the different aspects of sexual education and stigmas around sex.

I volunteered for "The impact pornography can have on you" article because I was very interested in the topic and had ideas of what I wanted to do with it. For the article, I researched the negatives and positives of pornography and how it affects people. I interviewed Amy Popillion, senior lecturer of human development and family studies, and I even spoke with my friends about pornography.

Doing my research and speaking with Popillion was so fascinating to me. When the deadline for the article rolled around, I had about 900 words, and several people in the newsroom told me I did a great job. I remember all the times someone complimented my writing and acknowledged my hard work; it felt amazing and pushed me to do even better.

Now I am the News Editor of Academics and continue to write articles, and while I am exhausted, I can’t imagine my life any other way. I love being a journalist and the opportunities I have had because of it. Now, I feel like I’m living my most honest and authentic life.

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