My road to becoming a staff member at The Houstonian was anything but straight.
After transferring to Sam Houston State University following a year of wasted time and credits at the University of Houston, I finally found my calling in the journalism program. I first picked up a copy of The Houstonian before my first intro-level mass communication class, and I was instantly inspired to become a part of the publication.
I figured it was reserved for seniors and upper-level students who had been in school for years. But to my surprise, on the last day of that intro class, professor Robin Johnson approached me and urged me to pursue writing for The Houstonian.
I was speechless. I’ve known what AP Style, ledes and nut graphs were for only a few weeks. How could I be ready to have work published?
But I went for it and never looked back.
After a semester of contributing to the arts and entertainment section, I applied for the position of campus culture editor. Again to my surprise, I got the spot.
I’ve learned so much from my short three semesters at the paper. I’ve met so many inspiring people through the stories I’ve written, from a former speaker of the Texas House of Representatives to President Dana G. Hoyt to a Grammy-winning professor and talented students whom I’m happy to call my peers.
I’ve seen the roller coaster ride the university community takes throughout the school year, from drama in the Student Government Association to the numerous awards given to the SHSU to the triumphs and troubles of Greek life.
That may be my favorite part of a career in journalism – being on the forefront of what’s happening in the world and being able to disburse that to the public.
I’ve also made great friends from some of my colleagues, and these final semesters of my undergraduate careers will be infinitely more enjoyable because of you all.
And now it’s time for me to move on so I may further my academic career. I’ve accepted a role in a new undergraduate research project in the political science department and have realized that between transferring and devoting my time to the paper, I’ve fallen behind on classes.
But I wouldn’t be the student or the person I am today without the twice-weekly publication I’ve called home for the past three semesters.
I’d like to thank everyone who has helped me get to where I am today, you know who you are.
And if you’re a young journalism student reading this and hope to write for the paper one day, remember this: The paper isn’t about how many lead stories or photographs you have, how many bylines you produce or how many titles you can add to your résumé. It’s about seeking the truth and producing news, no matter what the nasty comments on social media say.
And besides, if someone leaves a rude comment on your article, at least someone has read it.