Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Digital director still dazed and confused, trips up stairs trying to leave basement

Faith DuFresne

My college experience thus far has consisted of five wonderful semesters walking up and down the stairs to the basement. One semester as an opinion columnist, pondering where this ‘office’ was and waiting for someone to come save me. Two semesters as an associate editor, barely surviving Student Government elections. One semester as a forum editor, brainstorming webheads at all hours, and one final, blissful summer semester as the director of digital strategy.

I applied to the Texan out of pure hope. After seeing the line of my peers waiting at the Texan table, I thought I had absolutely no chance. And yet, by some intervention of the journalism gods, I made it back semester after semester.

‘Pink’ Floyd, of “Dazed and Confused”, summed up my experience in the opinion department perfectly: “You win some, you lose some.” From being blocked by sources to called out at Student Government debates, my work in opinion was never easy and seemingly never finished. Yet despite all the tribulations, I wouldn’t trade my time on that old, stained couch for anything. 

In that small office, with no lock and an old coffee maker, I learned how to be a journalist. I was bullied into not using the Oxford comma, pitched more webheads than I can count and gained confidence in myself as a writer. 

Sanika, thank you for having confidence in me and being the best role model I could’ve asked for. Jay, Sruti and Mia, I’m sorry for laughing during our interviews, but thank you for making student elections enjoyable. 

Alyssa, Mihir, Megan and Justice, thank you for putting up with all of my late-night webhead ideas and letting me edit on the couch. I can’t wait to see what you all accomplish. 

Lucero, it has been such an honor to be at the Texan by your side. From our time as columnists to management, I have learned so much from you and will forever have the Texan to thank for our friendship. I know the Texan is in good hands. Please remember to leave the basement every once in a while, and don’t doubt yourself.

My columnists, thank you for entrusting your columns to me. Remember to turn your Slack notifications on, and for my sake, please don’t use the Oxford comma.

Although I had no official plans to leave the opinion department, I was happy to take on the challenge of director of digital strategy. It took me a while to get past all the two-step verifications, but I’m so glad I finally did. Being outside the opinion office allowed me to experience a whole different side of the Texan and work with such talented people.

Emma, you will forever be my favorite sports reporter. You are such a star, and I’m so grateful we got to be in the basement together. You will do amazing things.

Kennedy, Ainsley and Alex, thank you for your pitch ideas, for being good sources for the other departments and for all your support throughout my journey here.

The basement and all the people in it have taught me so much in just five semesters. The Texan taught me to never take anything, especially myself, too seriously. Thank you for giving me my first journalism friends at UT and making my college experience what it is today. 

If this column doesn’t make you Google what an Oxford comma is and how to use it, I hope, at the very least, you’ll look up “Dazed and Confused”. Maybe you can finally push the rest of the Texan staff to watch it.

Alright, alright, alright, digital director signing off (and out of our social media).

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About the Contributor
Faith DuFresne, Opinion Associate Editor
Faith is a journalism junior from Dallas, Texas. Currently, she works as an opinion associate editor and previously worked in the opinion department as a columnist and forum editor. She loves to curate niche playlists and explore Austin in her free time.