SWEENEY: Moving on 

Catherine Sweeney

Catherine Sweeney

I was 22 years old the first time I came to Big Rapids, when I drove to the Pioneer for the opportunity to kickstart my career in journalism.

I came in excited and ready to learn the skills of the trade, but I also felt nervous about starting a new job in a place I wasn't familiar with.

Growing up outside Chicago, I wasn’t sure how I would take to the small-town atmosphere that Big Rapids has to offer, but after nearly two years, I couldn’t be more grateful for the unexpected growth and plentiful opportunities it has given me.

Now, at 24 years old, I’m closing this chapter in my life to go start a new job reporting on commercial real estate in southern California.

Once again, I'm in the place I was two years ago, ready to start but unsure what the future has in store for me. Regardless, I’m really excited about this opportunity, and I know it is the right direction to take my career in.

That being said, walking away from a job is no easy task, and leaving the Pioneer is no different.

Working at the Pioneer has always been much more than a job to me. It’s given me the chance to fully dive into a community, understand perspectives different than my own and meet a lot of really great people.

Big Rapids is a town with a lot to offer its residents, and for the time that I lived there, it offered me a lot too.

The supportive community, running along the Muskegon River, my little apartment on Ives Avenue and even the cold, snowy winters are just a few of the things I’ll miss about Big Rapids.

I will also miss the work, being out in the community, taking photos and being able to talk to interesting people on a daily basis.

But most of all, I will miss the kind words from readers who let us know each day that we are doing our jobs.

Despite all the happy memories, I know I’m ready to move on.

By the time this reaches readers, I’ve already said most of my goodbyes but I just wanted to end this with one final goodbye to you all.

Thanks to everyone who has read my work or talked to me for a story. I’ve truly enjoyed working with you all.

Catherine Sweeney is a former reporter with the Pioneer. She penned this column prior to her departure.