A Year Too Fast
I have become very acquainted with the word “deadline.”
Ive learned that its first four letters are an understatement.
This year, sometimes being dead sounded more pleasant than striving to make deadline.
I didn't plan on this, you know. I expected to be normal . An average college freshman, with feasible responsibilities. Perhaps a student reporter that turned in stories and then went to the movies. Maybe someone that didn't have 90 people on her mind at the same time right before she rests her head on the pillow—and then gets a call from a staff member for help at 2:21 a.m.
I thought I’d cover one campus—but I thought wrong. I was slammed with seven more.
The Reporter newsroom—where black coffee runs strong and creamer is non-existent—has become my home. However, everyone knows “home” comes with both comfort and chaos.
Luckily, my hair is still partially there. I’m taking biotin because I’m shedding from stress, but hey, at least I can say I’ve seen it all.
In one year I’ve seen four staff members exchange clothing with a colleague—from shoes to pants to blouse to jewelry—because the reporter had an unexpected interview with a city commissioner, and she had sweatpants on that day.
I’ve seen photographers roll in mud and chase fires just to get that perfect shot.
Ive gotten yelled at by high-profile individuals, had the opportunity to dig up criminal records and have gotten doors slammed in my face.
I’ve witnessed editors interview famous musicians such as Bizzy Bone, 50 Cent and Iggy Pop, and seen reporters shoot video from an airplane.
I’ve had people offer me a clementine, rather than an orange, and have gotten chastised for not knowing the difference.
I’ve seen the staff invest blood, sacrifice showers, skip meals and go delirious after 24 hours of not sleeping.
Here, not only have I learned about journalism and reporting , but I’ve learned about others and myself. I’ve been pushed and shoved into really getting to know what I’m capable of.
I’ve earned a family here. A union that is unbreakable, with the same goal— to produce a paper that will inform. And being part of that first family fuels me to be more passionate about what I do.
In one year, I’ve been blessed to lead a staff that has tested my patience, made me break down in tears, engraved a smile on my face yet still manages to make me whisper at the end of each day: “it was all worth it.”
Being editor-in-chief has opened my eyes to what things are really about. I’ve learned that no one is going to care about my skyrocketing GPA, or the amount of clubs I join, or the billions of organizations I claim to contribute to.
What does matter to me is knowing that immersing myself in The Reporter has made me a better me— exercising my passion, commitment and giving me the chance to experience the violent, intense field of journalism.
Although I don’t have all the answers, The Reporter has armed me with the confidence and the heart to ask all the questions—especially the tough ones.
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