The day after I received my first assignment as a general reporter at The Daily Texan, I had a panic attack and quit.
I never considered myself a journalist until The Daily Texan made me into one. I chose journalism as a major because it sounded more direct than English and less of a headache than computer science. I never thought I’d have the confidence to actually do journalism.
But when I rejoined the Texan the second semester of my sophomore year, something changed. I found the confidence to speak to students, to professors, to lawyers, to scientists, to senators and to write about what I learned. I found friends who made mistakes alongside me, who helped me up when I fell and who cheered me on when I succeeded.
The Daily Texan helped give me a home … and something to do between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. on weeknights.
And now, I finally get to do something I’ve dreamt of doing since I started at the Texan: I get to write my passionate, tear-jerking 30 column.
Thank you to the spring 2020 news department, my dauntless family of reporters and editors who have battled through election seasons, sexual misconduct policy mayhem and a global pandemic just to keep the students at this University informed: You deserve more praise and respect than I could ever give you, and I feel truly honored to have worked by your side.
To Megan, who I have so much to thank for: You have been a dear friend to me since our first senior reporting gigs in the summer of 2018. I admire you so much, for so many different reasons. You’re going to set this world on fire, and I’m just glad I could help lay some kerosene along the way.
To Chase, whose homemade margaritas and late-night talks powered me through years of doubt and anxiety over whether I could do what he knew I could all along: You encouraged me to work hard, indulged my odd ideas and gave me opportunities as a reporter no one else would have. If my future stories are worth anything, it’s because you gave me the confidence to pitch them in the first place. I’ll try to dedicate all future articles about malfunctioning toilets and oddly placed sex toys to you.
And finally, to Lisa, who believed in me from the very start to the very end: From my first grammar corrections as a general reporter to my very last decisions as news editor, you have been there for me every step of the way. You’ve been my friend, my mentor, my cheerleader and the funniest editor I’ve ever had. Your friendship means the world to me, and without you, I would not have been at the Texan long enough to write this.
Thank you all.