Stories from intrepid reporters attending the Illinois Press Foundation Journalism Workshop at Eastern Illinois University
By: Michaela Burton
She hates country and isn’t too big on pop either. She listens more to alternative, indie rock and electronic instrumental music.
“There’s an infinity of music. You just have to keep digging for it,” says 17-year-old Naihal Wajid, who applies her love of music to her interest in journalism.
Wajid found her passion for this on her own through her love and interest of music. Among her favorite bands would be Arctic Monkeys, The Go! Team, Flume, Chrome Sparks, and Odesza. Her dream is to open up her own radio station or to work at Spin, a popular music magazine company.
“It’s all about the discovery,” Wajid says. She loves discovering new artists and finding new music, and she’s got a solid start at that with her iPod consisting of more than 200 songs.
Not only does she love music but she also takes an interest in sports. She loves to run, and does track and field at Oak Lawn High School. She is a long-distance runner and runs the mile, two-mile and 800-meter (half-mile) races.
She writes the sports column at her school newspaper. Although she enjoys writing sports, she enjoys watching them too. Her favorite team would be the Blackhawks so she was excited when she got to the parade and met the players when they won the Stanley Cup last year.
Her all-time favorite movie would be “Juno,” but not for the obvious reasons. She really likes the message it sends to people: that you don’t have to be the same as everyone else in society; you can do your own thing and be unique. She really listens to that message and doesn’t necessarily “go with the flow.”
Wajid said one of the biggest influences in life would be her brother. He’s 22 years old and has made more than one mistake in his life. “It’s nice being the youngest one because I can learn from all of his mistakes.”
She has learned many of the “don’ts” from her brother. One lesson she learned from him that she uses today is to apply to a lot of schools, and by “a lot,” she means more than two. She has big goals for her future and can’t afford not to make it into college if she wants to accomplish them.
“Stay focused,” her brother always tells her. He sees the potential in her and wants all of her dreams to come true.
“Running, music, and journalism are the only things that matter,” Wajid says. Stick with what you love because things are much more enjoyable when you’re having fun, she adds.