It’s a bug’s life

I woke up at 7:28, tried to tame the mane before 8, and ate hashbrowns while I drank a mix of Barg’s root beer and Pibb Xtra. I sat with Sarah, Alex, and Rachel. We chatted about anything and everything, continued conversations from late last night when we were decomposing from the week’s stress.

If there’s one thing I’ve noticed, it’s that a lot of bugs seem to fly around the steps leading to the basement of the GAB building, also known as the home for UNT’s journalism students. I realize that these bugs, no matter how annoying they are while they fly around and buzz, buzz, buzz, they’re not really trying to hurt me.

I may be terrified of that wasp flying midair near the first concrete stairs. I may squeal when I see a dead beetle on my way to lunch but I know he was a soldier, even in the end. Humans are so, so big compared to these little pests, just flapping their wings to find their next home, their next meal, their next day of rest. But they never stop.

It reminds me of journalism students in a weird way.

I’ve met some interesting people over the past three years through the journalism department at my school and at various workshops across the state. They’re unique, hilarious, all over the place and hard to tie down. They’re curious people and they’ll stop at nothing to get the answer. The common denominator between all of these people is that they simply will never rest. There’s always a story to tell, a photo to take, an interview to record, and a connection to be made.

There’s also the fear of rejection.

I often find myself thinking, “What if I had left newspaper sophomore year? What if I majored in chemistry? What if I had done this? What if I had done that?” Those questions are absolutely useless in the end. I can’t take myself back, can’t twist the past to make it play back in the way I want it to.

There’s a reason I’m here at this journalism workshop, and it has nothing to do with plans. I think we try to plan our lives out, try to tell ourselves that we’ll be married by 25, have two kids by 30, have financial security by 40, still be healthy at 50, and retire by 60. But this world changes every day. We, as journalists, know that all too well.

I may be a fly on the wall, but I’m thankful that I stopped by this little group of people. I don’t know if I’ll talk to them again or if I’ll run into them on campus in the next few years. I don’t know if I made an impact or if I helped anyone at all. I don’t know why I didn’t want to write earlier this year when all I want to do now is find the hidden stories in my hometown. Someone will probably step on me in the next few months, but I’ll be able to persevere.

The grass is greener on this side of town, anyways. That’s the bug way.

Katelyn Hoagland is a recent graduate from Lewisville High School and will attend UNT in the fall. Her interest in journalism started freshman year when she selected "Photojournalism" on a blue slip of paper without a second thought. Ever since, she's been taking photos and writing for the Farmer's Harvest. Her junior year, Katelyn was photo editor of the school newspaper and, senior year, she was editor-in-chief. Just like her first journalism class, the Mayborn High School Journalism Workshop appeared out of nowhere, calling her name. The opportunity to learn from the professors she'd see in just a few months and apply the skills she's crafted over the years was too tempting to pass up. Katelyn would like to write for a long, long time. Maybe she'll edit, design, take photos and cry a little. In her spare time, Katelyn watches Teen Wolf, attends concerts, and drinks a lot of coffee.

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