When moving to Cleveland to attend Cleveland State University 3 years ago, I was excited but very nervous. Like all college freshmen, I was looking for a way to make a small dorm room shared with strangers feel like home.
The one thing that made the transition easier was writing. I found a familiar peace through expressing my thoughts on paper. Writing has always been a safe space for me, and growing up on the eastside of Detroit, a safe space was hard to come by.
After enjoying my first two years of college I began to want more out of my experience as a student and a writer in Cleveland. During my internship with The Land I accomplished multiple personal goals, while learning some basic skills needed in the journalism field. The tasks given to me started with handling The Land’s twitter account and led to having three articles published!
As a student in a new place getting on your feet feels like one of the hardest things to do, and the events that have taken place this year have made that goal feel even more impossible. After finishing my first article and seeing my name printed under the title I felt like the fog of 2020 was finally beginning to clear. Under the instruction of the Editor of The Land, Lee Chilcote, I learned not only about the field of journalism but the city of Cleveland itself. I constructed interviews, attended city meetings, and created full research reports on public issues. Suddenly my dorm did not feel so small and Cleveland did not feel so foreign.
My biggest take away from The Land is that with everything that is going on in the world right now, one of the most important things to do is take care of our neighborhoods. I learned from my internship experiences that one of the hardest parts of reporting is recognizing the true problem, yet that is the first step to creating a solution. In a place where there is never a shortage of problems, journalism is a vital medium for solutions to be created.
Asha Fairley is a junior studying English at Cleveland State University. She completed an internship with The Land in Fall 2020. Thank you, Asha, for working with us and this amazing reflection!