Grown men called me ugly. Professors said I needed psychological help. Multiple people compared me to Hitler.
It was the worst and best experience of my life.
I was a sophomore in college, had zero journalism experience and wrote a column for the student newspaper about not liking tattoos (my views have evolved, as have I). The article went viral, triggering thousands of people to send me hate mail, make YouTube videos making fun of me and blog about how disgusting I am.
I was a very insecure 19-year-old. So I … um … didn’t handle it well 😬
After days of crying, I had an epiphany: if my words can affect people worldwide, what if I use them for good?
That experience is what made me want to be a journalist.
I talk about the wild ride it’s been -- from writing about tattoos to Syrian refugees -- on the It’s All Journalism podcast.
Even if you don’t work in news, maybe you’ll relate to my story -- of how you can turn something that seems devastating in the moment into a positive.
Also, a BIG thank you to host Michael O’Connell and producer Amber Healy for having me on and asking such great questions :)