I used to believe mistakes get you nowhere. That was before I made all the right ones.
When I started high school, in the fall of 2009, I had my eyes set on just one class. Unfortunately, as a freshman at Robertson, I became prisoner to the Freshman Academy, and journalism, the class I wanted most, wasn’t one of my elective choices.
But I didn’t know that. I was the “new kid.” In fact, because I attended Family Partnership for elementary and Rio Gallinas for middle school, Robertson was the first non-alternative school I had ever attended, and there were only about three people I actually knew.
The first day of school finally came and I, by some amazing luck, found myself among all the scary upperclassmen in the one class I really looked forward to attending. This was my first mistake. Freshmen are not supposed to take journalism.
I like to write, and that above all else provided me with motivation. I didn’t know if I was any good or what writing for a paper even entailed. From the time I wrote my first short piece in class, however, I felt confidence in every word that flowed from my pen. I never would have thought walking into class that day that I might be editor of the very same paper just one year later.
I didn’t know how high school worked, so here I made my second mistake. Sophomores are not editors. No matter my age, I continued working hard to gain respect, oblivious to the social rankings of high school.
Freshmen, as well as sophomores (thanks to the Academy), are often looked down upon by upperclassmen because they are “annoying” or “immature.” I hope I have managed to make mincemeat of that stereotype.
I got to where I am because of my disregard to the unspoken rules of high school, and I encourage others to break this invisible mold. From my abrupt introduction to journalism, it began to grow on me. I enjoy writing and reporting, inspiring and entertaining.
I suppose I have enjoyed the simpler forms of entertainment from an early age. I was raised on radio and books — we didn’t have a television — and bask in the ability to create my own image of things in my mind.
I was born in Austin, Texas, and grew up in a tiny, three-room adobe home in Gallinas Canyon. I lived there for about six years with my parents and three siblings. When I was 7, we moved into Las Vegas.
Since then I have slowly been introduced to technology, school and the stressful life of a teen. Not too long ago, Mr. David Hill, my English and previous journalism teacher, suggested I apply for an internship at the Optic.
The idea was intriguing from the start and it grew almost hauntingly. For journalism, along with roller coasters, books, and socializing with people, is one of my very favorite things!
Journalism never occurred to me as a career I would like to follow, and even now, at 15, I am still exploring the millions of possibilities presented by different careers. The idea of becoming an Optic intern got the better of me, however, and yet again I was met with a pleasant surprise.
I have now broken all the rules: Freshman journalism student, sophomore editor, and now 15-year-old intern. I may be lucky, but I worked hard to get here.
I am now exceedingly happy to say, I get to write about and for you! I have been welcomed openly to the Optic and hope you enjoy everything I have to offer. My goal here is not only to be helpful to the hard-working employees of the Optic but to eventually give readers a new perspective. I aspire to represent the voice of the youth in Las Vegas and to help you understand what goes on in the unfathomable minds of your children.
In Las Vegas, we don’t need to play Second Life, indulging ourselves in technology and the ever- important media, to get away from reality. We already live in an alternate universe. With our intriguing history, clashing cultures and truly unique community, we really are in the Land of Enchantment.
There is no place I would rather be than among the staff of a newspaper that covers the ups and downs of this wonderful little town.
Oshá Bailey is newsroom intern at the Optic. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.