When you start something new, odds are you will suck at it. In some cases, you might not be that bad, but in others, you will look back at your first attempt and think, “Wow … that really sucked.”
That’s how I look back at my first story for The Daily Texan. My roommate still has the picture of me grinning ear to ear and holding up the newspaper with my story on it. Two years later, I read that story and cringe. The structure didn’t flow well, my grammar was terrible and I’m honestly surprised it even got published.
But still, I’m so glad I did it. I tried something new, and it became one of the defining aspects of my UT career. I just want to say thank you. I’m so incredibly thankful to everyone at the Texan who taught me how to write, but more importantly, how to listen.
My legacy might be the girl that gets people fired, but in my defense, I only did it twice, and they didn’t even really get fired. They just experienced repercussions that come with shedding light on bad behavior. To the people who brought those stories to me and trusted me to write them, I hope I did them justice. Thank you for speaking up first.
To management, thank you for your support when I write stories that could have legal repercussions and for paying all of my open records requests. Those stories had an impact, and I’m proud of them.
To the editors who accepted my late pitches, thank you for not firing me. I’m still questioning your judgment on that one.
To the news desk editors who corrected the same errors over and over again, thank you for not hitting me upside the head with your keyboard. If our roles were reversed, I could not have been that patient. Thank you.
To the general reporters who will someday turn into the Texan’s leaders, write things that matter. Listen to the communities that haven’t been heard and the people at UT that haven’t been represented. Take an active role in shedding light on issues that impact marginalized communities. Our role as a newspaper is to be there for students, and now it’s your job to fulfill that mission.