My college story

I will graduate with a BA in Journalism from Benedictine College Atchison, Kansas in May 2015.
I am a news intern at the Atchison Globe in Atchison, Kansas, focusing on education beats throughout the county. I was an editorial intern last summer at the Liberty Tribune newspaper in Liberty, Missouri. On top of writing and taking photos of community news, I wrote for three sister papers throughout the Northland– the Gladstone Dispatch, Kearney Courier and Smithville Herald.
I hope to pursue a journalism career after graduation.
I have worked with the bi-weekly Benedictine College student newspaper, The Circuit, for seven semesters, writing a variety of stories for online and print, soft and hard news stories. I am now the Multimedia Editor, focusing on video storyteling. I also shoot photos for the publication and I was awarded an Honorable Mention for News Writing in 2014 by the Kansas Collegiate Media.
I studied abroad in Florence, Italy in Spring 2014. In 12 weeks, I traveled to two continents, nine countries and 19 cities. During that time, I wrote seven published articles, detailing my adventures alongside my classmates’ expeditions across the pond.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have an announcement to make.
I, Hannah Stine, am living with Peter Pan Syndrome.
To further entice your curiosity, it is not my adolescent obsession with Disney movies, though this is an accurate statement. Rather, it is the inevitable malady 75 percent of college students will endure at some point in their higher education (no statistics are accurate in the making of this article).
It is the refusal to grow up—procrastinating life, if you will.
So this raises the question: If a boy with eternal youth can sprinkle pixie dust from his overprotective fairy and fly to Neverland to avoid adulthood, why can’t I?
Oh yeah, this is real life and growing up is inevitable- or so I’ve been told.
So how does one overcome the overwhelming fear of what happens after we swing that graduation tassel from right to left?
Like every tech savvy student, I sought to Google to find the answer. There, I came across this gem from comedian Lewis Black.
“Pursue whatever it is that you want to do with your life,” he said. “It is the only secret to happiness that I know except for maybe true love, that and maybe having the amazing health insurance plan that our congressmen have.”
While I equally enjoyed the humor, Black’s comment struck an immediate cord. I began to realize that my fear was not growing up, but rather risking my happiness to live a financially stable, but mediocre life.
As a journalism major, I know that I am going to be a millionaire right out of college (reek the stench of sarcasm?), but what happens if the dream I’ve had since I was 8 years old turns out to be a nightmare in disguise? What if I take that leap of faith only to crash into sharpened rocks of discontentment and disappointment awaiting me from the free-fall?
But that’s it—I don’t know. And that idea is terrifying, yet exhilarating all in one instance. However, I do know that I want to be happy.
From the age of 5, we have had a structured, scripted life. We wake up, go to school, participate in extra curricular activities, and go to bed—a constant routine. A skill we have evaded our whole lives because it has been handed to us each time we found ourselves taking the next step forward. The next step leading us to bigger and better things. Advance from kindergarten? You’re going to elementary school to build a foundation for yourself. Advance from sixth grade? You’re going to middle school/ junior high where you will take the skills you’ve acquired and build upon them, growing in knowledge and gaining depth. Advance from middle school/ junior high? It’s time for high school. The final step in preparing for higher education— now here I am, eight years later and anticipating my college graduation.
We have taken the necessary steps to be successful. We have a strong, rock-solid foundation. Building upon that, we have a world of opportunity ahead of us. Doors and windows are beginning to open as life extends its hand for us to happily and securely grasp, take that step onto the ledge and fly off to our own Neverland;
“Second star to the right, and straight on ‘til morning,” – J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan.

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