I can’t believe the semester is practically over. I had my last beat meeting this morning and when everyone cleared out, I looked at the empty room and realized that I wouldn’t be sitting in there again, or at least not with all the familiar faces I’ve come to know this semester.
At the beginning of the semester I was scared out of my mind, everything was new, confusing, crazy and overwhelming. I’m not going to lie, there were points where I told myself just to survive and get through it. But honestly, now that I look back on it, I had always wanted to do more than just survive; I wanted to thrive. And while I stumbled along that cobblestoned path for a while, I finally learned how to balance on steadier footing. With the help of my professors, Jeanne Abbott & Liz Brixey, I learned so much more than I thought I would. Working with Jeanne on the community beat, I learned how to pitch in-depth profile pieces weekly, write and edit 50-inch features, juggle a handful of stories at once, conduct multiple interviews and spend quality time getting to know my subjects. Having GA shifts with Liz taught me how to crank out detailed, interesting stories on extremely strict deadlines, fact check everything before and after pitching stories, work with multiple editors, cover national events such as the presidential election, and of course, sing along with Liz in the early mornings when she gave us our GA pep talk (I’ll miss that, too).
Originally, I thought I would be one of those kids screaming “THANK GOD IT’S OVER,” when December finally rolled around, but surprisingly, I find myself in a different position. Was it the hardest semester of my life? Yes. Were there times I wanted to throw in the towel and give up? Undoubtably. But, I finished strong with a wealth of knowledge, a full portfolio of clips and great relationships with my professors — all feats that I am proud of. So, while I am looking forward to the five week break with my family, I can honestly say that I am thankful to have worked with the amazing professors, editors and students at the Missourian and that I look forward to seeing them again soon.