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By way of introduction: Gretta Stark

"Hello, my name is Gretta Stark, and I am the new summer intern for the River Falls Journal."

I have said that enough times for me to lose count over the past few days.

It makes the perfect beginning for a column introducing me to the people of River Falls. That is, those of you I am not related to, or acquainted with already.

I have lived in River Falls since I was eight. I attended St. Bridget Parish School from third through eighth grade.

I graduated from River Falls High School in 2008 and went on to Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, where I am double-majoring in print media and electronic media.

When I graduate next May, I want to work in news. I hope to live in River Falls or somewhere nearby reporting local news.

When I found out about this internship opportunity last summer, I knew I had to try for it. Not only does it fulfill graduation requirements, and give me a lot of experience, it fulfills my own requirements for the perfect job.

It's local, it's news, and living at home where there's no rent is not bad for a starving college student.

This past year has been a difficult one. I had difficult classes, my jobs with the Wartburg radio station KWAR, and the Trumpet newspaper, other school organizations I belong to, and trying to squeeze in a social life around all that.

Of course, I also had to apply to internships. And I had less time than most of my classmates (many of whom are also working internships this summer), because I left the country to spend the month of May in Germany, where I did a month abroad with another internship.

This year, I kept my nose down, figuratively speaking, and focused on all my work, harder than I've ever had to before. And at the end of the year, I looked up, and realized I was done with the year, and I only have one more year left.

This is it. This is the home stretch. The final lap, the last mile, the point in the long drive home from school where I reach the River Falls sign and know I'm almost done.

And sitting here, typing in my cubicle, I realize I am getting a taste of the future right now. And I like it.

Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

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