Jumping in, come what may

Coming to Montana from Southern California, most of my peers asked me, “What’s out in Montana?”

I remember them saying that I was going to come back a mountain man, a lumberjack and all the other perceptions the outside world has of Montana residents. 

To be honest, I had no idea what was out here. But that was the thrill of it for me. 

The image of me jumping into a pool of some sort of liquid with a blindfold over my eyes popped in my head whenever I thought about the transition. I was literally going to be diving into whatever came my way when I got here. 

I moved to Missoula in January 2015 with the acceptance into the journalism program at the University of Montana. Upon my arrival, I noticed a flyer for a reporting job at the college radio station KBGA. 

My eyes grew big as I saw the first opportunity I would have to dive into. Without hesitation, I went over to the office and filled out the application to become a radio reporter — having no experience in radio, whatsoever. 

I got the job and worked my way up to the news director for the station four months later. I was at the position for one year and, being a year-to-year position, I had to figure out what my next move was.

When the opportunity to move to Big Timber presented itself, the image of an out-of-shape diver with a blindfold over my eyes reappeared in my head. 

It was different, though. My jump into the pool was a bit more confident this time around. I still didn’t know what I was getting into, but I knew the water would be forgiving and I’d figure out more about myself by taking the dive. 

The opportunities that have been presented to me while in Montana have been amazing. I’ve experienced things that I would have never in a million years thought I’d be able to do. 

One of these being the new intern for the Big Timber Pioneer.

The people I have met thus far have already made the move worthwhile. I am overcome with excitement to serve the community and share your experiences through our publication.

— Freddy Monares / Pioneer Staff Writer

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