Ryan Matthew Thurston


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While doing my research and formulating my story, I was really unsure where my thought process would take me. I figured that it would either turn out really successful and that I would gain valuable insight into the lives of STEM majors, or it would be a flop and I would be left with meaningless interviews and struggling to find an angle.

However, I’m happy to say that this was not the conclusion I came to. My experience was really enjoyable, and I did end up learning a lot about what I was studying. My favorite part was getting to know the people on a more personal level and learning about what motivates them, what they hope to accomplish, and the kinds of impact they hope to have.

The sources I interviewed were my friends and classmates, which is usually a bad demographic to tap into. However, I felt that for this story, it would allow me to access the beat I was looking for best. Interviewing a doctor or former medical student wouldn’t be as effective because they would already be far along in the process of practicing medicine. Instead, I wanted to talk to people who were just starting out and see what their thoughts and experiences were like. This gave me a better grasp on what it’s like to pursue these kinds of majors and helped me answer my questions I had beforehand. I was most surprised by my sources’ insistence on staying dedicated and not straying from their long-term goals.


Ryan Matthew Thurston is a freelance writer and sports journalist from St. George, Utah, who now resides in Salt Lake City. During high school, Thurston was the captain of the debate team and won the 3A state tournament in 2016. He also swam and played volleyball for Snow Canyon High School. In college, Thurston has worked as an athletics communication intern for Utah Athletics, the Pac-12 conference, and ESPN. Thurston hopes to one day publish articles for ESPN, Vox, or FiveThirtyEight. His favorite sports include basketball and baseball and his favorite teams include the Utah Jazz, Chicago Cubs, and Philadelphia Eagles.