The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

Something about myself


My name is Shannon Ireland. Most follow that up with one of two questions, “You’re joking, right?” or “Are you Irish?” I’ve actually had to show people my license before so they would believe me. Also, yes, I’m Irish. During sorority rush, I actually had a girl convinced that I was a first generation to live in the U.S. and my family ate nothing but corned beef and cabbage.

I graduated from Indiana University in May with a degree in journalism. I went through many career paths before declaring journalism as my final major.

I loved chemistry in high school, so all throughout sophomore and junior years I wanted to pursue pharmacy. Huge pay difference, I know. I realized that to pursue pharmacy I’d have to choose Purdue for college, and that was the end of that idea. Shortly after, I stayed with the science theme and grew to love anatomy. I decided that optometry was the path for me. After an internship with my eye doctor, I changed my mind yet again. I got painstakingly bored doing the same thing every single day.

When college rolled around, I started out as an education major. I wanted to teach high school English and have summers off. A Turkish teaching assistant taught my first education class and I didn’t do the best because I couldn’t understand a word she was saying. I learned that most of the instructors in the education school were foreign and got out of the major after one semester. I had taken a journalism class that I needed for my education major and finally found something I liked. Three and a half years later, I received my diploma in the field that clicked for me.

Going to IU was the greatest decision I’ve made thus far. As a toddler, I was put in an Indiana cheerleading outfit, and my loyalty hasn’t changed since then. I’m a Hoosier fan through-and-through, which won’t make me very popular around here (especially during basketball season).

After job searching all summer, I saw the posting for the reporter job in Sidney. I applied, interviewed and was hired all very quickly. At the end of the interview call, the editor said, “We’d love for you to come out here. When are you available?” I thought that this meant come to town for a second round interview and mentioned a date not too far down the calendar. He said, “That’s pretty soon.” And dumbfounded, the words that came out of my mouth were, “Wait… I have a job?” I should probably look into that whole thinking-before-speaking thing.

Moving to Sidney was much different than I expected. Finding an apartment here was like trying to catch a greased pig—exhausting. I called upwards of 40 people and no one knew of any openings. Finally I found an apartment. It was being renovated, so the landlord put a rush for the contractors to finish it in time for me to move in. The workers were finishing the floor as my parents and I pulled up and when we walked up the stairs to check it out, they said, “good enough,” and left us to it.

My impression of Sidney is a very good one so far. Everyone is so friendly and talkative. Also, I’m really diggin’ all the hills and no humidity. It’s a nice change of pace from Indiana.


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