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MacDonald travels from New Jersey to be new Press sports reporter

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In my lifetime I never thought that I would be moving to the Midwest, let alone to North Dakota.

And yet here I am, writing my debut article for The Dickinson Press.

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I will admit I was initially apprehensive about moving 1,800 miles away from home. The East coast and its lifestyle are all I've ever known, so I had no idea what to expect from North Dakota. I was pleasantly surprised.

I am originally from the Jersey Shore and no, I am not a guido, nor do I pronounce 'Jersey' as 'Joisey.' I am just your typical East coast girl who's got a deep love for the ocean, Bruce Springsteen and the New York Yankees.

Sports have always been a passion of mine and growing up an hour away from New York City and Philadelphia made it easy for that passion to flourish.

Since I was little, I knew that I wanted to become a writer. But it wasn't until I attended my first Yankees game that I knew I wanted to become a sports reporter. I was inspired by the hunger the players had on the field and how fans from all different backgrounds came together and shared a common love for a win.

For college I attended James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., and majored in media arts and design with minors in sports communications and creative writing. While at JMU, I was the sports editor for the award-winning college paper, The Breeze, was the executive editor for 22807 Magazine and was a contributing writer for the alumni publication, Madison Magazine. I also interned last summer with the Trenton Thunder, the AA affiliate for the New York Yankees. Every day I was receiving college credit to watch baseball and write articles for the Thunder's website and print publications.

Yet, the highlight of my young journalism career came last year when I covered the JMU vs. West Virginia University football game at FedEx Field. I got to sit in the same press box where real sports journalists sat every Sunday to report on the Washington Redskins. In that moment, I knew that I was destined to be a sports journalist and that I would work harder than ever to eventually work for a major newspaper like the Washington Post.

But after graduation, the fun dwindled down and the job application process kicked in and my stress levels rose to a new level. After two months and roughly 50 applications later, I found myself accepting the sports reporter position at The Dickinson Press.

"You're so brave," people would tell me. I assume they meant it as a compliment, but it only made me more nervous.

I had never been west of Pennsylvania and in three days I saw more of this country than I ever thought that I would. I drove through the middle of Chicago and saw U.S. Cellular Field, home of the White Sox. I drove past hundreds of Wisconsin dairy farms and golden cornfields, and even made a side trip to ride the roller coasters in the Mall of America. Out of all the wonders that we passed, North Dakota's landscape is the one that took my breath away. I have never seen a sky so vast or a terrain as glorious as the Badlands.

I've only been in town a few days and I can instantly tell that I am going to enjoy covering Dickinson State athletics. From the players to the fans, the amount of passion they have for sports is inspiring and makes the job more fun.

Although I was nervous about this big change in my life, I realize now that taking this job is a step in the right direction of following my dreams of becoming a renowned sports journalist. I look forward to getting started at The Dickinson Press and to begin writing once again.

MacDonald is a sports reporter for The Dickinson Press. Email her at mmacdonald@thedickinsonpress.com. Tweet her @MegtotheMac.

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Meaghan MacDonald
Meaghan is the sports reporter for the Dickinson Press, focusing primarily on Dickinson State athletics and rodeo. After graduating from James Madison University (Va.) in May 2013, she moved from New Jersey to North Dakota to start pursuing her career in sports journalism. 
(701) 456-1213
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