No matter what you do, hard work "stands out"

Growing up, the only times I felt like a "standout" were when I was an 8-year-old tomboy on an all-boys hockey team, or the Lebanese "foreign" kid at an all-white high school.

I didn't necessarily feel cool in the eyes of others.

So when College Media Matters called me a "standout" yesterday, it felt, well, really cool!

College Media Matters, a site that partners with Associated Collegiate Press, wrote this story about my career so far and my advice to young journalists. In the Q & A, I lay out how I didn't attend a fancy journalism school but found a way to beat students at some of the best journalism schools in national competitions.

I've realized that if you find something you love, like I found journalism in college, and you really dedicate your time to it (yes, even weekends), pour your heart and soul into it, and endure the stressful, scary moments your passion can often bring, it pays off.

I think in life, that's how you stand out. By being yourself and doing what you love wholeheartedly.

PS: Shameless plug -- if you want to check out the other articles College Media Matters has featured me in during the past few years, here they are:

"Year in Review: Most Viral Student Media of 2012, Part 1"

"The Ultimate Student Journalists’ Guide to Avoiding & Surviving an ‘Internet Drubbing’"

"Student Newspaper Investigation Pierces Silence Surrounding Illegal Frats"