I’ve always been a quitter.
I didn’t stick with anything in high school and that trend followed me to college, where I didn’t commit to any campus organizations my entire freshman year.
So when I didn’t get that management position I interviewed after a year of news reporting at the Reveille, I wanted to do what I always did - give up. I was conceited in that way a 19-year-old with little experience can be. But I stuck it out, and I had the best semester of my reporting career, and got that promotion I wanted so badly the next semester.
I stayed because, for the first time in my life, putting in the work and earning something seemed better than quitting.
After three (seemingly eternal) semesters of news reporting, six months of deputy news editing and six months of news editing, my Reveille journey stops in an unexpected place: in the digital section, as the publication's inaugural marketing coordinator.
My time as news editor last semester ended sooner than I would’ve liked, but I am so thankful I got the opportunity to return in a new capacity and challenge myself.
I came back and stepped outside of my comfort zone because, for the first time in my life, finishing what I started seemed more important than my pride.
Ten years from now, I won’t look back on my experience at The Reveille and think about what position I held each semester.
I’ll remember the editor-in-chief sitting down with me as a brand new reporter and helping me write my first investigative lede. It was the first time I was able to write a story I was deeply proud of.
I’ll remember sitting at that early morning breakfast at Louie’s with my co-workers when we got the email that school would be going online until the end of the semester. It was the last normal day I remember having with friends before our whole world changed, and it was a good one.
I’ll remember the long production nights, sharing memes and pizza. The debates about what office characters we were (I’m Kelly) and what dogs we were (I’m the protagonist from Beverly Hills Chihuahua).
All the meetings that were supposed to last 15 minutes but lasted two hours because we couldn’t stop talking about our favorite songs or our Meyers-Briggs personality types.
I measure my time here by the relationships that were made, the bond that was shared and the goals that were reached together rather than by my personal success or failings. There’s value to be found in caring about something greater than yourself. Getting to work alongside a group of people and giving up your late nights in college to create something together - that’s not replaceable.
And it means more to me than any amount of front pages, awards or promotions in the world.
So thank you to The Reveille and the basement of Hodges for helping me find something I was passionate about, teaching me not to quit and making me a better journalist and storyteller.
Most importantly, thank you to all the fellow student journalists I've worked with over the past three years, who have helped me reach my accomplishments, recover from my failures and create the memories that made this place my home.