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TEEN-2-TEEN: April 2016

Goodbye (for now), and thank you

By Ethan Mickelson

If you’re reading this, I’m no longer a teen. That means this is my last column.

Ethan Mickelson, teen writer for North Dakota Living Magazine
Ethan Mickelson

I’m Ethan Mickelson, and I just turned 20 years old. I’ve been a teen correspondent for North Dakota Living since March 2012, when I was hired to write a column about Internet safety. Since then, I’ve written seven more columns including this one, and shared my thoughts on technology, energy efficiency, voting and more.

As I anxiously embark on a new decade in my life, I’ve taken time to reflect on my experiences with North Dakota Living. Looking back, I’ve written about many topics as my life changed, and I learned how to become a better me. As I grew up, I tried on different versions of me — and it wasn’t long until I began to understand my role as a writer. Most importantly, I found a great deal of support from the North Dakota community.

I want to thank you, the reader. Because of you, I have not only found something I love to do, but I’ve discovered a skill that with practice, can really make a difference. No matter what I wrote about in the past, I always received feedback that pushed me to continue. It was a marvelous surprise to receive my very own fan mail from people I had connected with across the state.

The feedback I’ve received has fueled my passion for writing and furthered my experience. Seeing my own work on the page was gratifying, but I never realized how beneficial it would be for me in my professional career. From compiling a portfolio of work to applying for internships, I had material that could develop connections.

The Teen-2-Teen column has inspired in me a love for writing and given me so much support, that I am ready to face my ‘20s and all future writing endeavors with confidence and optimism. Even though I must say farewell for now, I will carry my experience everywhere, and hopefully with enough effort, accomplish something great.

Ethan Mickelson, 20, is a sophomore at North Dakota State University. He is working toward his degree in public relations with an emphasis on international studies. This summer, he will be interning with Osborn & Barr, a public relations firm that focuses on agricultural communications. Ethan is the son of Cameron and Danielle Mickelson, who are members of the Northern Plains Electric Cooperative.