30: System reporter stayed for the free meals

Van Nguyen

Working at The Daily Texan led to a lot of firsts for me. It was the first time I’d ever written for a newspaper. I applied on a whim in the middle of the summer before my senior year because I wasn’t really doing much with my summer at that point. It turned out to be one of the greatest decisions I made here at UT.

It was a learning process, though. My journalism experience was close to zero. Luckily, I had great editors in Anusha, Audrey, Catherine, Claire, Jasleen, Hannah, Sunny and Matthew to teach me the basics along the way. I learned to get rid of the oxford comma and Anusha explained to me what passive voice was at least 10 times. As time went on my mistakes dwindled and I became more or less capable.

My fall semester as a reporter was full of firsts. From dildo-wielding protesters to scandalous bake sales, the semester was never boring by any means. The fall was also the first time I really felt like the news department was a family. I covered my first election night and went to my first drag show with these guys. There was never a dull moment. Even our hour-long pitch meetings with Forrest speaking for 99 percent of them were still really fun.

I really have to thank Forrest and Ellie for hiring me. They gave me an opportunity to try something new and I’m really proud of the work I did during my time as a senior reporter. Without their guidance I don’t think I would’ve been able to accomplish the things I did and have fun at the same time. The news department really is like one big family, and that’s all on Forrest and Ellie.

All the reporters I’ve worked with were amazing people. Paul, Katie, Will, Sarah, Cassi and Brianna: It was a pleasure to work with you guys during the fall and I know you guys are going to kill it in whatever it is you do in the future. (Will, remember me when you’re headlining ACL.) Lisa, Kayla and Mikaela: I didn’t get to work with you guys as much as I wanted to, but I know you guys are going to kill it too.

The only regret I have is that I joined the Texan so late. If this is the only regret I have after working here for a year, then I think it’s safe to say I had a pretty good time. I highly encourage anyone reading this with nothing to do this summer to try out. Even if you don’t have any journalism experience you’ll still have fun and learn what you need along the way.