The 2010 Poynter College Fellows disbanded more than 48 hours ago, and already I miss everybody.
That said, I had no idea what I was getting myself into, when I arrived in St. Petersburg a little more than two weeks ago.
- I had driven almost 20 hours from Missouri to St. Petersburg, Fla. (with help from my parents, who drove down with me).
- I also missed my own graduation ceremony to arrive at the Fellowship on time.
- I had just completed a very rigorous final semester of college, during which I also had a part-time job and worked editing shifts at the paper.
- I had just packed, moved and cleaned my apartment in almost exactly 24 hours, with help from Jeff and my roommate Shelby.
- I was/am on the brink of beginning a summer photo internship at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in early June.
- And — I will admit — I felt a little burned out on journalism.
In the trip from Missouri to Florida, I spent the majority of my waking hours wondering what the hell I was doing. Why couldn’t I have just taken a break during the three weeks between graduation and my internship? Why couldn’t I have actually walked in my graduation ceremony and mugged for the camera with my fellow graduates? Why did I want to apply for a fellowship that would mean an intensive two weeks of even more journalism after my intensive four-year collegiate experience?
But 24 hours into the fellowship, I knew why.
The fellowship brought together 32 young journalists from vastly different backgrounds, with vastly different experiences and with vastly different perspectives — and I couldn’t have asked for a better group. I would be lying if I said I didn’t learn something from every single person there. There was no cutthroat competitiveness or need to do better than everybody else.