As a freshman, I wandered into an info session for The Daily Texan and ended up joining the inaugural Science & Technology section. I didn’t exactly intend to stay for three years, but I had the good fortune of getting to cover things like Jennifer Doudna and Joe Biden speaking at SXSW, and later editing other people’s articles.
These three years have been formative. Interviewing successful people while being painfully shy has made me a tad more confident. Having the opportunity to work alongside many talented people has been inspiring. Seeing and becoming part of the inner workings of a paper have given me a better appreciation of journalism and its importance.
One of the things I’m most grateful for is rekindling my love of reading. When I started at this paper, my writing was clumsy. I read pieces from acclaimed news outlets to try to polish my own. This eventually led to me hoarding books and articles, pouring over wonderful writing and ideas. This is a habit that has given me so much and that I really hope sticks.
The people make the place. I want to thank Ellen for creating the department and Eva, Zia and Kate for shaping it into what it is today, and to give a special thanks to Julianne and Sarah. Thank you, Julianne, for being so sweet and patient, especially when I’m trying to parallel park. Thank you, Sarah, for the spooky talks and videos of Alex Turner in tight pants. You guys are wonderful. Thank you to all of our writers. Watching you improve your writing skills, pitch creative ideas for pieces and take pride in your work has been insanely gratifying. I’m going to miss baking for y’all.
My time at The Daily Texan has been a huge part of my college experience. After three years, the basement has gotten a homey feel. I will miss evenings spent here, squinting at articles, obliterating Oxford commas on sight and geeking out over press releases. I got to read, write and talk about so much, from quirky Austin startups to the advent of autonomous vehicles to inclusivity in STEM. I never expected to earn such a big payout from something I stumbled upon, and as I finally leave the dingy basement, I hope I can keep meeting new opportunities with an open mind and finding the best in unlikely places.