Editor’s note: A 30 column is a chance for departing senior staffers to say farewell and reflect on their time spent in The Daily Texan’s basement office. The term comes from the old typesetting mark (–30–) to denote the end of a line.
Dear 18-year-old Garrett,
Some time in the next few weeks, you’ll stumble upon The Daily Texan.
You’ll walk in the HSM basement and try to pretend you know where you’re going until you timidly ask a stranger, who you now know is a page designer, where the sports office is.
You’ll submit the application the last day it’s due (this won’t change), and, soon, you’ll start your career as a sports writer.
At first, you’ll think that basement is a little strange. You’ll be afraid to go down there, except for the occasional meeting. But, later on in your college career, that basement will become a second home while you’re almost 2,000 miles away from yours.
Take advantage of it early and spend as much time as you can in that basement. Don’t be afraid to walk down on a random Tuesday night, even though you may know one person there. Soon, you’ll find there aren’t many better places to spend your hectic nights.
With the Texan, you’ll learn how to write. And, within a few years, you’ll be covering history. Spoiler alert: You’ll cover Mack Brown’s last game as a coach and Charlie Strong’s inaugural season. Neither went that well.
You’ll cover the end of Rick Barnes’ 17-year career at Texas and Shaka Smart’s quick hiring.
You’ll be challenged with covering the football beat your junior year — one of the hardest, and most rewarding, things you’ll have to do. As sports editor your senior year, those challenges will only get harder, but, at the same time, even more rewarding.
You’ll work under amazing editors, who will teach you what it means to be a journalist and how to actually do it. And you’ll have some of your best experiences, in and out of the press box, while working at the Texan.
In that basement, you’ll meet and become lifelong friends with people you would have never met otherwise — people who make working a lot easier. Unknowingly, they’ll help you through tough times.
When you have no motivation, you’ll somehow find it in that basement. Or it will just be a good place to continue procrastinating.
You’ll have a sports staff that is always ready to help and that will fix your mistakes when you make them. Among other people you'll meet from different departments, they will help make your senior year your best eight months in school.
So, spend as much time as you can at The Daily Texan. It’s really nothing to be afraid of. You’ll realize there wasn’t a better place you could’ve spent your four years at Texas.