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

Projects editor prepares to find new on-campus spot for naps, make-up touch-ups

Naina Srivastava

My mom has always talked to me like I’m destined for greatness. 

That might seem dramatic, but she is truly my biggest supporter. She always has compliments and affirmations at the ready. 

“You’re a masterpiece!” is one of her favorites. She’ll send me that exact text every so often. 

She borrowed that one from Joel Osteen, but I used to think about that phrase so much because I felt so far from “a masterpiece.” 

If I was any kind of painting, I felt like I was probably a kindergartner’s class project: messy and unfocused. 

I still felt that way when I got accepted into the Texan, even though, to be entirely honest, I mostly came to UT because of this newspaper. 

When I got accepted into the projects and news departments, I felt like I was being offered a golden opportunity I couldn’t possibly measure up to. I had a lot of sleepless nights before I started, wondering if I was worthy of working here. 

I look back now and smile thinking about all I had in store at this organization. Everything I’ve gotten to experience here can only be described as transformative. I first arrived at the basement as one person, and I feel like I’m leaving an entirely different one.

I’ve become a much wiser, more confident person because of the work I’ve done here, but also because of the people who have believed in me and kept me going. 

So many people in the basement made the choice to take a chance on me: whether that was by hiring me, assigning me a project or even just being there for me. I knew people trusted my abilities, judgment and character, and that made me actually start trusting myself as a journalist. 

At the Texan, we often see the start of someone’s journalistic career. We see many people determine whether or not this is something they want to do for the rest of their lives.

I’m living proof that we have the power to transform peoples’ lives here, even if our decisions can, at times, feel minute and inconsequential. It can be hard to quantify the impact one place or entity has on our personal growth, but I have one definitive measure for this newspaper’s effect on me. 

When my mom texts me that I’m a masterpiece, I actually believe it now. 

So to those who are continuing on, I hope you’ll take chances on one another. 

I hope you’ll hire people because you have a good feeling about them. I hope you’ll have someone work on an important story even if it’s the biggest project they’ve ever worked on. I hope you’ll recognize when a staffer is close to giving up and offer them the support they need to keep going.

I hope you change one another’s lives for the better. 

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About the Contributor
Naina Srivastava, Senior News Reporter & Senior Photographer
Naina is a freshman journalism major from Mountain View, California. She is currently a senior news reporter and senior photographer at the Texan.