by Lauren Laskowski
If the weight of words could be measured in strength, Nicole Spewak would be one strong and mighty millennial. At only 20 years of age, Nicole is soon to be the Editor in Chief (a.k.a. the top dog) at the Record, her college’s newspaper. Nicole Spewak is well on her way to making a difference and is going to use her skills in writing to change the world.
Nicole is a driven journalism student. She is majoring in Communication in a college right outside of Chicago. She also plans to obtain a Journalism Certificate, similar to a minor in Journalism. Nicole has big plans for the future that go further than the boundaries of America. This summer, Nicole is planning to intern in Germany (Sprechen Sie Deustch anyone?) at a Media organization as well as study at the Free University of Berlin and travel around Germany. Nicole states, “I expect my writing and journalism skills will grow and continue to form while in Germany.” She also thinks that her “perspectives are sure to expand” because she will be gaining a cross-cultural journalism experience (globe-trotting ftw!).
Although Nicole has big dreams for the future, she loves to reminisce about her past. Nicole grew up in Poughkeepsie (pronounce pa-kip-see), New York (what a great name for a town) where she had a pretty normal childhood as the eldest of the 2 children in her family. She has many fond memories of times spent with her parents and younger brother during her growing up years, such as taking long drives in the family’s ’69 Camaro (a super cool car) to get ice-cream or hang out at the batting cages. Nicole and her family also love to go on fishing trips together. Nicole treasured the times she spent with her family and she states, “I guess all my best memories involve just being able to spend time with my family.”
However, writing has always played a prominent role in Nicole’s life. Nicole’s earliest memories of writing began in first grade where she remembers writing short stories that would be made into small flip books. Nicole comments that she “has stacks of them at home.” Nicole states, “I remember being extremely excited to have one of my stories turned into a blank book at the end of the school year. I was proud to have something I wrote actually “published.”
As Nicole continued to grow up, she never let go of writing and reading. During her years in grade school, Nicole remembers writing in many different kinds of journals. Nicole kept a journal with her friends when they would sleepover and write down all their jokes (do this!), and she also wrote poems in a journal every day with a friend for a semester in high school.
As Nicole continued to hone her writing skills, she got involved with writing on a more advanced level as she joined a writing club during high school. Nicole fondly remembers when the writing club took a trip into the Adirondack Mountains. The club camped out overnight, climbed a mountain called “three brothers”, and then wrote about their experiences. (In my opinion, she had a pretty amazing writing club). Nicole remembers, “Throughout the trip and on the peak, we would take time to stop and write about whatever the location inspired us to transcribe. I enjoy being outdoors and hiking in the mountains, so both the writing experience and the location in which I completed made the trip memorable.”
Nicole also had the experience of working on the yearbook staff at her high school and she became the yearbook editor during her senior year. Now, Nicole is the head of the entire news section (top campus snooper) for her college. She has covered many topics in her writing news this past year from Hurricane Sandy, to a Q and A with Francis Chan, a popular American preacher.
Now that Nicole is studying writing at a collegiate level, she wants to use her skills for a bigger purpose. Nicole wants to further the ways she can help by using her writing to help others. “I think [by] using my writing, not necessarily only in a newsroom in the future, but also using it to bring light to issues in the world that need addressing or just to help people.”
Nicole’s faith in God has had an impact on where she believes her writing will someday take her. She states, “My faith plays a big role in what I do because I know that if my focus is on doing what God has gifted me with, and what he’s called me to do, then he’s going to lay out my path for me.”
One example of how Nicole feels that God has led her in a certain direction has been her adventure of studying German at college. Before college, Nicole had studied Spanish. However, as new horizons opened at college, she decided to study German. Through her German classes she has met her best friend and current roommate and many doors are opening including her summer internship to Germany. She states, “I definitely see God’s work in my life bringing me to German, my roommate, my work at the student newspaper, and finally the opportunity I have this summer.”
In the end, Nicole feels like writing is a good way to express yourself (Amen, sister!). Nicole enjoys journaling because she feels that the act of journaling, “ is a good way to remember things.” This has also helped her in her walk with God as she is able to look back through her journals and remember what God has done for her.
Nicole thinks that one way in which she can benefit the area of news writing is to “Bring light to events and situations that are happening in the world.” She states, “Through writing, you can make a difference in the world.” Nicole realizes and that the future of writing is unclear, but that doesn’t stop Nicole. She states, “Right now, I’m still experimenting, trying new things, seizing every opportunity given to me, in order to figure out how exactly I envision myself using writing in the future.”
Watch out for Nicole! She’s like a freshly sharpened number 2 pencil, ready to go out and make her mark on the world.