I didn’t think my time at The Reveille would end like this. Instead of writing this goodbye column from the basement of Hodges Hall or the press box of Alex Box Stadium, I'm writing from my parents living room 800 miles away in Midland, Texas. Even weirder is that I'll be graduating from the Manship School virtually on Friday because of the COVID-19 crisis.
It's funny thinking back on my time here, mostly because everything about my journey to The Reveille and throughout my time a part of it has been a complete and total accident.
I initially went to the student media hiring night in December 2016, at the end of my first semester of college, with the intention of applying for Tiger TV. I’m not sure what exactly happened. Maybe I grabbed the wrong application, maybe it got put in the wrong pile, but whatever happened, I just went with it.
For some reason, The Reveille hired 18-year-old me to be a sports reporter that spring, covering gymnastics and softball. Anybody that knows me knows that no matter how much I love LSU’s big three sports of football, baseball and basketball, gymnastics and softball have a special place in my heart. My first story for TDR Sports was a 400-word, quote-heavy article about then-senior gymnasts Ashleigh Gnat, Shae Zamardi and Sydney Ewing. My last was another gymnastics story, this time a 900-plus word article on senior gymnast-turned-manager Ashlyn Kirby. Talk about growth.
I was a sports reporter for two semesters before accidentally falling into the role of deputy sports editor in spring 2018 and sports editor that following fall. I never applied for those jobs, it just kept happening because of staff necessity. Former Reveille editor-in-chief Ramsina Odisho jokes about taking credit for all my accomplishments, and maybe she’s right. If she didn’t more or less force me to be the deputy sports editor that spring, I wouldn't be where I am now as a reporter, editor and all-around journalist.
I disliked being on management at first. So much of my time was stressful. I can’t tell you the amount of classes I skipped and social events I missed and hours of sleep I didn't get. I spent more time in Hodges between 2018-19 than I probably did in my own apartment, and my roommate never fails to remind me. I've fallen asleep in the newsroom more times than I can count — there’s an unfortunate amount of documentation of this. I cried in there a lot, too. Despite all this, I made all of it work and I learned to love it.
The last 10 months or so have been tough, maybe some of the hardest in my short life. I've done my fair share of screwing up, but regardless, my time at the Rev was some of the best. I've grown as a writer and editor and I've made some of my best friends, both within student media and otherwise. I wouldn't trade it for anything.
I love being immersed in sports all day, every day and the Rev gave me that.
I've been fortunate to cover three LSU bowl games, NCAA scandals (really had to fight to put “strong-ass offer” in print, thanks Will Wade), a March Madness trip, Joe Burrow and the best team in college football history, and my own personal favorite — D-D Breaux and everything LSU gymnastics. I couldn’t imagine my four years of college without being present for all of these events, and I’m forever thankful to The Reveille for that.
And to all my editors — Josh Thornton, the first editor who hired me for some reason, Hannah Martin, Brandon Adam, Ramsina and Natalie Anderson — thanks for always making me look so much better. Even though some of y’all never understood the sports things I wrote, you never failed to help out.
My internship with MLB.com was canceled due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis and the next chapter of my life is up in the air, but I do know that the Rev sports is in good hands. Sports editor Natasha Malone and deputy sports editor Reed Darcey have the ability to be far better than I ever was and I can’t wait to watch.
And I can say "Geaux Tigers!" now.