28 05

WJI 2021, Day 13 AM - Exhausted Yet Refreshed

“Eyebrows are the window frame to the… face. Get it? Because your eyes are the window to the soul and your eyebrows frame your eyes?”

This is Mikayla’s quote for the day. As WJI comes to a close, the exhaustion has set in. Because of sleep deprivation, Mikayla always says something quotable in the mornings. One day, it was her singing one line of “déjà vu” by Olivia Rodrigo. Another day, we both slept through the alarm. I woke up to the sound of Mikayla saying, “Katie, it’s 8:30.” Instead of panicking, we both slowly got out of bed while groaning a long “NOOOOO!”

But as we are nearing the end of WJI, I’m feeling bittersweet. Bitter because on Saturday, we all return to our homes, and spread across the country. It is surprising how close you can become with a group of people in fourteen days. But I come away from this experience feeling blessed and thankful. I have learned more in two weeks than I have in two years of college.

I have to admit, being in Iowa has been… interesting. It is one of my life goals to visit all 50 states, so I’m glad that my thirteenth is Iowa. If not for WJI, Iowa would have probably been my last state to visit.

I will leave WJI being more exhausted than I ever have been. I have noticed the dark circles under my peers’ eyes becoming more and more prominent with each passing day. I think it will take several days, if not weeks to recover.

But I will also leave feeling refreshed. Looking at journalism through a biblical perspective has completely changed my outlook. I have realized the importance of compassion when interviewing, or when covering a difficult topic.

The friendships and connections that I have made are irreplaceable. I know this is cheesy, but I will never forget this experience. And I mean that with the utmost sincerity!

- Katherine Futch