Finally finding out where I belong

Cherubs explore downtown Evanston together. Cherubs form lasting friendships in these short five weeks.

Cherubs explore together and form lasting friendships in five short weeks. Photo by Jane Williams.

“Do any of you feel like you don’t belong anywhere?”

When guest instructor and FuelX CEO Mary Lou Song asked this at her presentation in the McCormick Foundation Center, I knew what she meant. I’ve had interests and friendships that were meaningful, but nothing that felt perfect. Before I joined my high school’s paper, I never had anything that was really important and special to me.

When the instructors told us on the first day we would meet people we would be friends with for the rest of our lives, I didn’t really believe it. I never imagined that in five weeks I would get to know people better than those whom I’ve gone to school with for years.

I’m a private, independent person, so I don’t open up to people well. But I went into this program with an open mind. I wanted to meet new people and share stories.

When I came to the Medill cherub program, I was worried I would seem inexperienced next to the other people who were going to be editors-in-chief and already wrote for prominent publications. I was worried I would be a terrible writer and reporter and I would be behind everyone else. But most of all, I was worried I wouldn’t connect with the other cherubs.

I was wrong.

I wanted to be friends with every person I introduced myself to and never felt awkward or unwanted. Everyone I met was interesting, nice and more like me than I could’ve imagined.

I met the best people I’ve ever known during my time at the journalism cherub program and I will be friends with them for the rest of my life. I cherish every second I spent at Medill, be it churning out 10 stories in a day, struggling through Rotating Rewrites or hanging out in the main lounge after running.

I’m so glad I came to this program, not just for what I’ve learned, but for all the experiences I’ve had with truly amazing people.

These five weeks have flown by, and I cannot imagine my life without these people and this program. My time at Medill cherubs has influenced me to be more open and outgoing back home.

Song reassured us at her talk that we would eventually find where we fit in.

I’ve found where I belong.