Leyre Casarin




That is when you need to start appreciating the little things and celebrating the successes. In this class, I tried to go out of my comfort zone since I am not a public speaker and doing interviews for the first time with important people was challenging. I had to go through a process every time which required me to face up to all my fears.

Woooow. What a rollercoaster of a semester! It brought a lot of things on my plate. I want to celebrate the little successes, but I want to start with the disappointments, since, unfortunately, there were more of these.

In this semester, I overcame some disappointments, but I haven’t gotten my life poisoned by them. It happens! Maybe this is something you wouldn’t expect to read…

Disappointments cannot be avoided; they displace and jeopardize our balance. But we can always defend ourselves. And they can even be turned into a springboard to new challenges and opportunities. The secret is to know yourself well, not to cultivate disproportionate expectations and never stop safeguarding your self-esteem. But also, in “not closing yourself to desire” while maintaining the willingness to do and move forward.

Starting from a fact: each of us has happened to be disappointed at least once in our lives, and when it happens, our expectations are shattered and us with them. People, circumstances, contingent situations, everything can contribute to disorienting us and collapsing ourselves. And we are disappointed in love, in work, social, life, school, or sport.

In my case, I had some “down moments” in general. That’s life though. I always wanted to push myself in everything I do and this semester I ended up having six classes, two internships, and a busy schedule with swimming.

I felt like Wonder Woman, but in the end, my physical and mental health were having a lot of ups and downs.

So, what did I do? We can always react, and go through the painful experience successfully, to get out of it positively.

I have regained lucidity and balance by always keeping in touch with reality, with Professor Mangun who was like a Holy Grail for me, with having realistic expectations, and learning to know myself better. Self-knowledge is the basis of a good relationship with reality as well as being aware of our limits and our potential. This nourished my confidence.

I also learned to be more patient because there are waiting times that I can’t control, especially when the people you interview don’t answer you or they are busy. It can be stressful, but the idea of a “race” also comes into play. The fact of not wanting to surrender to the obstacles that life and this class put in front of me. For some people, they are even stimulating because they push them to “get busy.”

Finally, the mutation of disappointment into a vital process is actually the transformation of pain, its “sublimation” into a creative act: “creating” yourself, aware that you can be the architect of your own life, as an actor and not a spectator.

Stick to reality is really important, and the book “Writing as Craft and Magic” by Carl Sessions Stepp helped me. Especially Chapter 6, “Beginning to Write: Focus and Leads,” as that was my major problem. It illustrated the writer’s purpose and all the different types of examples, which were really helpful for utilizing the creativity I knew I had but I didn’t know how to start a story and give order to it.

I celebrated the fact that I have made it through this class, through my swimming career, through college in the United States — which is on the other side of my homeland, Italy — through a culture, system, language, challenges that helped me better myself, be openminded and learn.

Voices of Utah, I will say it again, really pushed me to get out of my comfort zone. I have realized I might not be the best person to conduct interviews, and that maybe reporting isn’t my specialty.

I am “pathos girl” and that is why it is hard for me to keep myself out of the stories. I emotionally connect too much with the people I interview.

I have realized that collaboration and constructive critics are so important, and it was amazing to work with fellow classmates and learn from their brilliant points of view.

This is more than just a class. It is a very introspective analysis, and this is what I collected:

  1. In times of crisis, great opportunities are hidden. When everything seems to go wrong, stopping, thinking and taking a good look around is very necessary because it is in these moments that the greatest opportunities and epiphanies/realizations often lurk.
  2. Change is inevitable, it is part of life. Everyone changes, so work on yourself to be one of those people who get better over time. And as doing so, be flexible and adapt to every situation that changed.
  3. Don’t take yourself too seriously. This might be cliché, but it is so true sometimes. The things that happen to us, good or bad, are less important than what we give them credit for.
  4. Don’t take anything for granted. While working and readapting the topic for Voices of Utah, there were times where I felt hopeless because I couldn’t see the work I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it. But then I remembered that life, your loved ones, your peace, your freedom, your security are still there even when we do not see them. And being grateful for what we have is always a good reminder that it is never the end of the world if an assignment didn’t come out as we planned. You are still doing a good job and putting a lot of hard work into it that will pay off anyway.
  5. The only person who will be with you for your entire life is you. Before worrying about solvable problems, you need to take care of yourself, even if it means to slow down and take a break. More than once, I got stuck with my writings and so I decided to leave the work there to take time for myself.
  6. The ego is your biggest saboteur. Sometimes we create the biggest obstacles ourselves. Keeping it in check was what I learned, and that helped to realize that things were easier than I thought, and I just needed to take that little first step, the start.

The most satisfying part of being a professional communicator or storyteller was having the privilege to meet important people and connect with them. Telling stories about Asian Americans was incredibly helpful to myself to learn more about them. There is always a new facet that the big most popular newspapers/websites miss or do not include. I would say I had some adrenaline while going into the interviews.

I have always wanted to be a journalist or a storyteller. It started with the newspaper in middle school or in the parish and ended up bringing me to college and pursuing journalism. At all costs, forever.

A profession? No, a good mess. Considered too romantic, always much talked about, so mythicized, but most of the time little understood due to the infinite emotions it causes you and which you often cannot tell due to the lack of space. A tender passion which never abandons you and which no threatening “network” or multimedia can turn off. But this is all satisfaction.

When I was writing my stories about Asian Americans, I was thinking, and overthinking, but especially, I was feeling what they were saying.

You have to be pierced by pain, by their feelings, to be able to tell them and give a soul to those thousand or three thousand words… This is why also a reporter can be moved as a human right and as a professional duty.


Leyre Casarin is a senior at the University of Utah and is majoring in communication with an emphasis in journalism. She is also completing a minor in business. She is a swimmer and part of the Utah swim and dive team, competing at one of the highest levels in college swimming.

She is an international student from Italy, and aspires to enter the digital media world.

Her ultimate dream is to create. She has some long-term projects but doesn’t want to tell them. Superstition! 

As plan B she would love to work in the fashion industry as she has always been passionate about it and growing up in Italy that helped her have a sense of style.

Being a student-athlete, she has faced many challenges that brought her to have good time management. Leyre has had to balance being a Division I athlete while maintaining good grades in order to compete. 

With a new language, new culture, new people and far from home, with double practices almost every day of the week, lift sessions, treatments, and rehab, Leyre had to go through ups and downs that only made her stronger.

As athletics have taken up a ton of her time throughout her life, Leyre is managing to complete two internships as a writer for a sports magazine, and as a marketing intern for the University of Utah Athletics. She hopes to find an internship as a digital media marketer, or content writer/creator within the business, fashion, health, or sports industries.

As she has been into sport her whole life, Leyre hopes to give space to her creativity and focus on her other passions. Voices of Utah is definitely another experience in the books!

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