The Trop enriched my life in unexpected ways

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Taylor Walding

Variety Editor 

Of the entire graduating class of Trop staff, I have had the unique privilege of working with the Trop for all four years of college. I was initially drawn in by the promise of potential scholarship money. Little did I know, the Trop would offer me so much more than that: deeply impacting my professional resume and personal development. 

Like most freshmen, I had no idea what I wanted to pursue long-term, but I had faith in God that through seeking Him first, He would direct my steps. My first semester, I drudged my way through sports writing, a measly task for someone who cared little about sports beyond the two I had personally played.

I then found a love of feature writing in the arts, eating up the opportunity to draw artists’ stories out of them and put them to paper for others to enjoy. It was a matter of asking the right questions, not simply a yes or no, but how and why. It was seeing a work of art or a dance or a concert and envisioning the journey that led up to the final product. I found other feature stories, including sports features, were no different. Sitting across the table from me was an award-winning athlete and telling their story of hard work and triumph thrilled my story-loving soul.

I worked as a staff writer contributing 1-3 articles weekly for a year and a half before I was asked to step into an editor role. For the next year and a half, I worked as the variety and features editor, occasionally writing news pieces and features which I loved, but avoiding opinion writing like the plague. 

But this year, after a little nudging from a dear friend, I began my column, “A Faith-Based Perspective,” where I published some of those unpopular opinions. And after everything and all the uncertainty regarding my future career, I think I found my niche. It’s not that I found myself, but rather the contrary. The essential message of Christianity is not to find oneself, but to lose oneself, to die to self and take up the cross with Christ. I love that the essence of journalism is to find the truth and tell those stories to the public. These values line up with my faith in that Jesus is the way, truth and life, and as a Christian, I’ll spend my life sharing His redemptive love story throughout whatever career lies ahead. 

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