Every interview I’ve performed for The Chase this semester has had some permutation of me admitting to the interviewee that I am an immensely awkward person.
People usually laugh and brush it off, and the interview is able to go on as normal. Still, the start of these interactions would never fail to make me nervous. Reporting is a deceptively active role, with you pursuing who to speak to and drawing a story out of them with some suggestion. With a nihilistic outlook this can feel invasive, calling people, asking them to make time for you, taking pictures of them and constructing a list of questions to interrogate them with.
Yet it never fails that I run into people I’ve interviewed again, and they greet me with cheery smiles and update me of their own volition. The truth is, people are usually elated to tell their stories or share their advocacies. They’ll even ask for a copy of the paper, interested to see how they were depicted and relieve our conversation.
Nearly every event or topic I’ve covered has required me to talk to someone, and despite my nerves it keeps working out. All it takes is the single ounce of bravery in me that I have to make a call, and just fall into the process like it’s natural to me.
Writing for The Chase has taught me that even when operating as a professional, you can be caught by feelings of fear and doubt. Your passion is there, but the confidence to follow through feels difficult to muster. Still, I was dead set on fulfilling my obligations and would week after week thrust myself into a social situation I was sure I would make a mess of and prove myself wrong.
As we approach the end of the semester, I approach interviews feeling more grounded than I was before. Perhaps practice makes perfect, but I think the intermediate step is comfort with one’s own abilities.
My time as a college student is quickly coming to a close, but I am thankful for this time to wrestle with mistakes and discomfort in a safe setting. I urge any fellow students, if you are paralyzed by uncertainty or fear, to throw yourself fully into your passions regardless. Gradually exercise those muscles you know are weak, and you’ll become a little bit stronger every day.