‘The Long and Winding Road’


Jessie Winchel, Opinion Editor

I know that most people start there goodbye editorials with how they first started out at IVCC. They may also include that they were awkward and didn’t get too involved until later down the road. My starting experience with IVCC was no different than the majority of IVCC students. I lived in Jackson Missouri and moved back to Illinois just to go to IVCC because I hated SEMO, the university in my area. I knew that starting at a community college would be best. I honestly need to thank my mom at this point because it was her that let me take this journey and even went on it with me. I am so proud and thankful for my mom for letting me go to this school, for helping out, and for even going back to college herself. I love you mom, please never change and keep being a hard worker. Now back to my story…I did not get too involved, nor did I know a lot of students except for my childhood friends Abbey Smith, Emily Smith, and Layne Zen’s. Sadly all but Emily were still in high school at the time. I didn’t get involved till I tried Improv for the first time, roughly my second semester in. I dropped that after a year but only for a little while.
In my spring 2012 year I got accepted and inducted into Phi Theta Kappa. I also went to a conference in Nashville with several officers and it honestly helped me get more involved. Without the help of Stacy, Brad, and Lee Ann I honestly think I would still probably be shy and not as outgoing. That Conference really helped me get a better idea of what kind of person I wanted to be.  After that, summer came and went and a little after the Fall 2012 semester kicked off.  I was really getting involved by then. I was secretary of several clubs, VP of Leadership for PTK, Cartoonist for the IV Leader, and even a Student Ambassador. I was also involved in Improv again shortly after.
In my spring 2013 semester though, that was fun! I was involved in Xanadu, and also the VP of SPAMO. By then I was also the Opinion Editor of the IV LEADER and still the cartoonist. I met a lot of great people then. My fellow PTK Members, Officers, and Advisors were amazing and we made such a great team. We would always try and get people involved and do different activities around the community, even if I was too busy most of the time to be of any help. Spring semester is also the semester I started to date my boyfriend John. He is honestly the reason I got so involved into the IVLEADER and SPAMO. Another person I would like to thank is Andrew Leobach, and his great girlfriend and the most amazing used to be co-worker and friend Cheriz Kunkel, for always being encouraging. Thanks to them John and I were able to not only be involved in Improv, but Xanadu, a workshop to help the disabled, and even a few semesters of Show Choir. Without motivation like that I probably wouldn’t be able to think as quick on my feet as I can or be as out spoken.
This last semester though makes me very sad because of course I met even more nice people. This semester I was President of SPAMO and still the IVLEADER Opinion Editor and Cartoonist. I tried a lot of new things with SPAMO this semester and helped out as much as I could. Even if everything didn’t go according to plans, I still think we had a blast. I was also happy to introduce my twin, Dakota Winchel, as the new SPAMO President and my new ginger friend, Chase Woolman, as the new VP. I know that both of them will do great next semester.
I lastly, couldn’t ask for a better IV LEADER staff. I met my new staff mates this semester, Ali and Abney, who gave me great ideas like hiding cat photos all around the leader office for Brent to find. They really are great and I know they will be amazing Editors next semester. I also want to give a shout out to the Head Editor Brent for sticking through everyone’s bullshit, and forcing me to draw cartoons that I don’t want to draw, Lori for dealing with all our immature moments and giving us great ideas for the paper, and the other IV LEADER staff for all pitching in when layout get hectic.
Even though this will be my last editorial for the IV LEADER, I know that everyone will do great next semester. I know I have met a lot of people during my time at IVCC, whether they are theater kids, newspaper staff, or a whole bunch of weirdo’s, I am glad I met them nonetheless. We all have our mistakes that we make in life, and we all have our accomplishments, and I wouldn’t change either because they are the reason I am who I am. Hopefully I did not forget to mention anyone, if so you know who you are and that I meant too, but, I will try and make the IV LEADER Staff and those I care about, proud by continuing my Journalism career and by trying my hand at the Northern Star; Northern Illinois Universities school paper. I will be sure to send you guys a copy of each and every issue with tears all over it, and maybe a few cat photos to remind you of me.