Personal Column: Changes in TPP


The Three Penny Press. When I turned in my application to be a part of the school newspaper, I did not really know what I was expecting. I didn’t know how it would affect my schedule, or my life as it was sophomore year. The only prior experience I had with a creative outlet belonged to a stressful 7th grade year. Growing up, and probably at the time, I had hopes of becoming a surgeon and attending UCLA. I had big dreams and high hopes. How did TPP fit in for an aspiring doctor?

Second period every few weeks a newspaper would come to my speech class and a junior named Lizette would receive a subscription. A little group we formed would crowd around and read the latest news, and I remember thinking how interesting the graphics and stories were. I wanted to become a part of this experience, so I filled out an application to be on the Three Penny Press staff.

I see myself as an introvert around people I don’t know. When I didn’t see many familiar faces at TPP’s introductory ceremony, I immediately regretted my decision. Why did I do this? I don’t know anyone here. I don’t know how to write stories for a newspaper! I continued to second-guess why I turned in that dang application. But the damage was done, and every day I would walk in to the TPP classroom fresh-faced and trying to figure out where to start.

Soon enough, the ideas of wanting to be a doctor floated away. Ms. Hopson would frequently mention how we are telling others’ stories. And there are so many interesting stories out there to tell. After spending hours reading Humans of New York columns, this was further pushed in my mind. The “Our Three Cents” section of the paper also reminded me of this, and I realized there is so much that no one ever knows. The secrets, the nitty-gritty of what makes you, you, is hidden. Unexposed. Journalism showed me that secrets can be revealed in a professional manner that brings the positive attention of your friends. Of society and the world.

As the weeks went on, things got easier, of course. But that’s not the point. Your best decisions do not have to be drawn out. They don’t have to be well-thought and mapped out. I wanted to be a surgeon since middle school, until one day it all changed. Some decisions you second-guess but you never regret. The Three Penny Press will always be one of those decisions. It’s been a challenge, I’ll admit, but a climb to the top of a mountain is always worth the trek after you see the view. My “view” was friends, a future in journalism, a community of people I’ll always be connected to. It’s my best feat yet.