Celebrating a milestone anniversary with Me@20

Deep in thought in the campus newspaper newsroom.

Deep in thought in the campus newspaper newsroom.

Notice the Associated Press Handbook and dictionary at my side in the photo above. Invaluable tools of the newspaper trade. See the Macintosh computer in the background? Those little powerhouses were ground-breaking technology that introduced the concept of “pagination” back in 1988, though we were still using wax and scissors and little bits of paper to assemble newspaper pages.

I found my vocation when I was 20. I became the editor of the campus newspaper at St. Cloud State University, and I loved it.

I loved being in the know. I loved deadlines. I loved spending time with driven, creative people. I loved writing clever headlines to fit in limited spaces. I loved designing newspaper pages. I eventually graduated and used my mass communications degree to land a job as a daily newspaper reporter and later, a newspaper copy editor. Then I used that experience to launch a career in marketing.

Today, I’m still writing and designing and marketing, and I love it.

The Association of Personal Historians, of which I am a member, is celebrating its 20th anniversary today. For 20 years, this awesome organization has been connecting people to professionals like myself in an effort to help record those precious life stories. We’re celebrating by remembering ourselves at 20:

  1. Where I lived @20: In an off-campus apartment with my friends Jill and Suz. I was responsible for cleaning the bathroom we shared, and I did a poor job.
  2. What I did @20: Wrote, edited, acted like I was large and in charge at the campus newspapers and ate Doritos and campus deli bagels topped with three kinds of cheese for dinner.
  3. What I dreamt @20: I got engaged a month before I turned 20 so I dreamed of a fairy tale wedding.
  4. My favorite song @20: “We’ll Be Together” by Sting
  5. What I wore @20: Mini skirts, blue ballet flats and a wispy fringed scarf with silver disco threads.
  6. Who I loved @20: Steve, owner of the cartoon sweatshirt I was wearing above and the man who become my first husband.
  7. What made headlines when I was @20: Political developments in the wake of campus riots caused by nothing more than public drunkenness. The student newspaper covered every development designed to mitigate such embarrassing neighborhood problems — keg laws, enforcement of public drunkenness, moving the Homecoming date (the colder it might be, the more likely unruly college students might stay indoors) and other big news.

What were YOU like at 20? Create your own Me@20 blog post today, or share the Me@20 questionnaire in your social networks.


About Me@20 Day: Me@20 Day celebrates personal history and the 20th anniversary of the Association of Personal Historians on May 20, 2015. APH supports its members in recording, preserving and sharing life stories of people, families, communities and organizations around the world. Check out personalhistorians.org

If you enjoyed this Me@20 Day story, be sure to check out others being published today, including more college memories and a vintage pic of what people used to unapologetically call a “stewardess” from fellow APH members Elizabeth Woody at 11 Stories and Betsy Unikel at Rainmaker Video.


2 comments on “Celebrating a milestone anniversary with Me@20

  1. Wonderful post! Great to be able to add it to the collection of Me@20 Day blog posts written by APH members around the world today.

  2. Sarah White says:

    Hi Monica, just now came across your Me@20 post — we share a history of waxy fingers and x-acto knife cuts! I wrote about my lost world of layout on my blog– Innovate Ate My Craft! http://truestorieswelltold.com/2015/02/25/innovation-ate-my-craft/

    Your photo says it all, paste-up in the foreground and the Macintosh glowing in the corner…

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