More than words can say

I’ve lived in Myrtle Beach for most of my life, so I certainly didn’t want to go to college here. However, after weighing everything, it was the best option and later the best decision of my life.

I realized I wanted to be a journalist after my first newspaper class as a sophomore in high school. From there, my interest continued throughout the rest of my high school career and followed me to Coastal. The first thing I did as a freshman was attend Organizational Kickoff (OK) Day and find the newspaper booth.

There, I met a girl who had been on staff with me in high school. Since then, my experience has been nonstop. I was a reporter during my freshman year on staff, then I advanced to assistant editor, eventually making my way to editor-in-chief by the time I was a junior. My role was cut short when I did an exchange year, but I still had the pleasure to write a study abroad column.

The newspaper has helped me develop tremendously as a professional over the past four years. I have learned leadership, how to give constructive criticism, work on deadlines, deal with controversial news topics and much more. It’s also taught me a lot about free speech and our rights as individuals.

Some of my favorite memories from the newspaper will be setting up for OK Day and sitting in the scorching sun for hours on end or driving to campus at midnight while waiting for the delivery driver to show up with our latest issue— or even the last-minute rush to get everything in on time.

In the moment, those situations drove me crazy, but looking back and reflecting on them, it’s what I remember and learned from the most.

Moving towards the next chapter of my life, I’m going to keep writing. On my current path it’s a lot of freelance, but I’m embracing every opportunity given to me. Thank you, to both the newspaper and Coastal Carolina University, for giving me the opportunities of a lifetime.

All the best,

Shelbi R. Ankiewicz