Stephanie Namkoong

August Story


There’s not much I can say about my cherub experience except that I’m grateful. I can’t say much simply because aspiring journalists just have to experience it for themselves. But, just in an attempt to illuminate how amazing it was, I would have to share more about the past couple of years.

I’ll be pretty blunt about the fact that the officials at my school described me as being ‘depressed’ and ‘suicidal,’ but it seems pretty insensitive to just slap a word on the whole mess and shove me away to some clinic. Nevertheless, I guess that’s what it was.

My parents were loving and supportive and it was selfish of me to want to throw that away. I didn’t care about people or maintaining relationships and I cared even less about school and how well I did. I admit that I regret the way I dealt with my problems and I made poor choices. But that is the past and there’s not much I can do about that.

Career-wise, I had chosen journalism a while ago. It seemed safe and interesting. It saved me from my fears of working every day doing the same mundane thing. However, I didn’t have the fire for it and I didn’t do everything I could to be the best at it. I didn’t care about being the best at anything. I was just afraid of the future and I stopped caring.

I had avoided going straight to therapy and stayed in school. I was terrified of having others know about what almost happened. The long winter had passed, my sister came home, and all the hard work was over. The storm clouds had cleared, but there was still a horrible gloom. I was afraid, but I had hope. My parents saved me and did the opposite of what I was afraid they’d do: blame me.

When I enrolled for cherubs, it was pretty much because it looked good on paper and it was just a way to get away from home. I just thought that this would be another camp and that I’d hear the same shit I always hear, meet a few kids, and then come home. I didn’t though. I met amazing people who all were talented in their own ways. I met amazing journalists with an overwhelming amount of passion for what they do, and they were inspiring. I never thought of journalism as something that would excite me, but it did. It seems ridiculous that just one camp did it, but it’s inexplicable how amazing it was. I can’t say the same for my friends, but I feel like they’re people I’d like to stay close with for years.

I want to thank the program and the people I met. There’s not much I can commit to anybody because they don’t care, but I can say that I want to actually pursue something now and not have empty ambitions. I can’t say I know what I’ll be doing now since cherubs has ended.  I figure I’ll keep doing what I have to do, like sports, newspaper, and applying for colleges, but this summer has presented me with a reason to keep moving forward and to have something to look forward to.



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