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Former editor-in-chief encourages a ‘work hard, play hard’ attitude

Tynin Fries is an alumna of Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and is currently a graduate student at the Walter Cronkite School, set to finish her Master of Mass Communication this May. Fries then plans to move to Denver to start a summer fellowship at The Denver Post. Follow her on Twitter: @TyninFries.

Courtesy of Tynin Fries

Fries (center) attends the 2015 Territorial Cup game against Arizona State University’s rival, University of Arizona.

This week, The Feather is a finalist for the NSPA’s Pacemaker award. And this week makes four years since I completed my high school journalism career as the editor-in-chief of The Feather Online and five years since I myself won a Pacemaker in 2013.

I’ve experienced quite a bit of change since then. And more firsts than I could ever imagine. After graduating high school, I moved to Phoenix to start my undergraduate degree at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. I moved away from home for the first time. I failed my first test. I bought my first car. I missed my first deadline. I earned my first internship. I quit my first job. And I finished my first degree.

One of the biggest firsts I experienced was for the first time not having a plan for my life. College is a crazy time for a lot of people and that’s OK! College is supposed to be four years of learning and that includes learning about yourself.

Once I threw out the plan and stopped pretending to be an adult, I was able to have fun working hard and playing hard.

Looking back over the last four years, I wish someone would have told me how OK it is to act young in college. It may seem like graduating high school dubs you an adult, but in the scheme of life, being 18 or even 22 is so young. And being young is all about making mistakes, experiencing firsts and accomplishing a lot. — Tynin Fries, ’14

I worked my butt off taking as many classes as I could and taking classes I knew would challenge me. And all that hard work paid off because I was able to finish my undergraduate degree in three years, graduating in the top 10% of my class.

Courtesy of Tynin Fries

Fries (right) and two friends at the Grand Canyon, April 2017. Fries graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University, May 2017.

And then there was the playing hard. I studied abroad, traveling around the United Kingdom and escaping Phoenix in the summer of 2015. I loved it so much over there that I found a way to intern abroad too and moved to Ireland for almost three months last summer.

The work hard, play hard attitude that got me through college was one of the most valuable things I learned while working on The Feather. The current Feather staff is in San Francisco right now, running a website while attending a conference and spending nights having a blast around the city. Plus, they are publishing articles while the choir is in NYC and from home in Fresno.

If The Feather taught me one thing, it was definitely how to get stuff done and smile while doing it. One of the reasons that I love journalism so much is because the nature of the work is exactly that: challenging, but also full of adventure.

Looking back over the last four years, I wish someone would have told me how OK it is to act young in college. It may seem like graduating high school dubs you an adult, but in the scheme of life, being 18 or even 22 is so young. And being young is all about making mistakes, experiencing firsts and accomplishing a lot.

For more View from the outside articles in The Feather, read Sara Peterson’s and Phillip Christopher’s.

Follow The Feather via Twitter @thefeather, Instagram @thefeatheronline and Facebook @thefeatheronline.

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