On Spending a Lot of Time with Old Women

Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

I round the corner into my cubicle and toss my coat on my chair. I chat with April as my computer starts up, and then check my Threads calendar, which is riddled with deadlines. My day could be filled with writing blog posts, driving over to help at the studio, or maybe crafting an art project that will become the background for the next photo shoot. Every day, I cross the threshold into The Taunton Press not knowing what to expect or what my job will be. That is probably the best part of working here. When the deadlines get closer, you can practically see the energy buzzing in the air: that’s when the editors appreciate me more than ever, because I thrive on that feeling. On the internship evaluation I completed at the end of my first year of working at Threads, the only complaint I could think to write was, “I wish I could work more hours.” This really has never been a job to me. It’s a privilege.

When I look back at my years in high school, I have found that I spent an abnormal amount of time being the youngest one in the room by about 40 years — and I loved it. For as long as I can remember, people have been telling me that I fit in all too well with the older crowd since I am wise for my age: I like sewing, knitting, eating dinner early, using old phrases like “the bee’s knees”… the list goes on. What I didn’t know is that this would play such an integral part in my career interests.

I applied to the journalism program for my junior year and immediately felt at home. Right away, I couldn’t help but draw parallel after parallel between my internship and working on the school newspaper. Near the end of each month, there was that same atmosphere of an orderly frenzy to get everything done in time. Mr. Kenney, the journalism teacher, would get the same worried look on his face as Sarah, the boss at Threads, every time there was a problem on a day before a print run. However, both of them would also have perfectly calm words of assurance, perfect to get us through anything. I saw the same love for writing from both the young inexperienced journalists and the older women in my office, who still have that passion after years in the business. It made me realize that my two favorite places weren’t too different, and that I was as comfortable with the young crowd as I was with the older women. Sure, in journalism class our conference room is the cafeteria, and our office is just another computer lab, but we all have the same goal, and in the end isn’t that what it’s all about?

Even though I have always been chided for being an old soul, all it does is help me. I never would have thought that my job at a serious publishing company would be at all comparable to my high school journalism class, or that my two worlds of young and old would ever have commonalities. But it is undeniably true. I would never have this internship that I love without my “old lady interests,” but I also wouldn’t be in this class I love without my young, spirited interest in trying new things. I wouldn’t be who I am today — a vibrant, young, passionate student with more than a few qualities of a wise, experienced older woman — without these two halves of my life in writing.

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