There were a lot of days when I didn’t know if I could keep working at the Texan.
I struggled a lot here. I struggled with the constant wave of production. I struggled with what being a student journalist meant and what it asked of me. I struggled with the emotional toll as we reported on the lives of those taken from this campus too soon: Haruka Weiser, Harrison Brown and Nicky Cumberland.
Yet, semester after semester, I returned. Every time, it was for the same reason: the people.
There is something magical about this paper and its people that makes you want to be a better journalist, a better teammate, a better person. In three years, no matter how hard it got, I couldn’t get enough of it.
I learned from the best (Forrest and María), who taught me how to truly listen and advocate for those around you. Some fellow editors (Catherine and Alex) gave me advice when I evidently made mistakes. I received more guidance from a staff adviser (Peter), who liked to hide my cold brew and even let me ugly cry in his office that one time.
I got to meet sources (the Cumberland family) who showed me what it means to be brave.
Friendships were made between late-night page edits in a basement that, at one point, was infested with crickets (Spencer, Wills, Trinady, Brooke and Faith). When the paper lost its print production, the people I began this journey with (Savana and Chase) distracted me with Animal Crossing.
We had department heads who dealt with my bad jokes and all of this semester’s obstacles with grace. (I’d still hire every one of you if given the chance.) I watched in awe of a staff who did everything they could to keep this campus informed in the midst of a global pandemic.
I surrounded myself with a management team of women who inspire me. One of them (Tiana) would steal my pasta recipes when she wasn’t working tirelessly to empower and support those around her. Another (Megan) pushed me and this paper to be better with her constant drive, and always let me pick where to eat. Then there were my co-pilots (Kirsten and Brittany), whose endless work ethic and kind hearts helped keep this staff — and me — afloat during some of our worst days.
Maybe I had some bad days at this paper. But I had so many more good ones. I would do it all over again if I could — every argument, every late-night pitch meeting, every missed deadline. No matter what kind of day it was, I still got to do my favorite thing in the world: to work on something that matters with the people I cared about. You guys were always worth coming back to. So here’s to everything we did together. I already miss it.