There was a time when I thought of this day with youthful impatience. Now, with a heavy heart, I stare at it from across the room, unable or unwilling to stand and meet it.
For four years I have left my mark on this paper and for a while that mark was so small it would go unnoticed.
As a freshman I became the manager of the classifieds section- in hopes to work my way up to being a writer. I looked upon the bylines with admiration and envy. The obstacles preventing my name from joining the others seemed impossibly tall mountains to overcome.
In the second semester of my freshman year, I took Tony Pederson’s class on ethics. One of our larger assignments was to cover the Tate Lecture given by Bob Schieffer. I had never written an article before and when I got my paper back, Professor Pederson’s comments reflected that. Based on what he had read, Professor Pederson did not believe I had the writing ability, nor the basic understanding of common grammar rules, to make it through the journalism program.
That summer I addressed the weaknesses in my writing, bought an AP style book and began studying.
Before the beginning of my sophomore year, I submitted a piece covering the upcoming NFL season to the DC’s associate sports editor Kelsey Charles. Her response to my writing was much more positive than the one I received from Pederson only three months before.
When the fall semester of 2012 began, I was the DC’s soccer beat writer. By the time that semester was over, I was the Sports Editor for the DC. I always felt the byline was given to me before I deserved it. But the powers that be saw it fit for me to keep it.
At the end of my junior year at SMU, I was burnt out. I had taken on too many jobs and responsibilities and it was finally catching up to me. It was a very hard part of my time at SMU and easily the most trying time in my life thus far.
But, there was one place I could go and forget about it. A place I could go and feel at home. Somewhere I could go and feel loved- the journalism school.
Over the three years that I was part of the journalism school I really only spent two inside of the building.My junior year, I decided to become double major and was taking more English classes.
They say that you are to live your life with no regrets. It’s hard to do most times and it is even harder for me to do when I look back on that year and see what I missed out on.
As my time here at SMU comes to a close, I look around at the faces of the J school and wish for that year back. I look at the friends I made this past year and wish I met them sooner. I look at the friends I’ve had but never really known until now, and wish I’d spent more time with them before.
I look at guys like Christopher Saul, Andrew Hattersley, and Scott Sanford and see brothers.
I look at Rebekah Tate, Mallory Paul, Adriana Fernandez, Tess Griesedieck and Jehadu Abshiro and see sisters.
That doesn’t begin to cover everyone, and I hope I do not hurt anyone I don’t mention by name here, but I have many more people to thank.
Lucy Scott, you taught me the value and importance of telling people no.
Michele Houston, you taught me how remain grounded and how not become over confident.
Carolyn Barta and Karen Thomas, you taught me how to write clearly and effectively.
Pam Harris, you were like a second mother to me- I cannot begin to express how much you mean to me.
Robert Emery, you taught me the importance of consistency. They way took care of everything and where always there for us, made all of us trust you. What would we do without you?
I want to thank Kent Koons, Kelsey Charles, Erica Penunuri and Eric Sheffield for serving as my mentors at the DU and providing me with a strong example of student leadership in the J-School.
I would be remiss no to thank Matt Costa. He was my associate sports editor for two semesters and was my best friend at SMU. I learned so much from working with you and the things we accomplished at the DC are among my most cherished memories at SMU.
That I was given a voice here at this paper and at this University means the world to me, and I am forever grateful.
During my four years at this paper, I held four different positions and three different bylines: I was a Staff Writer for a semester, an Associate Editor for a semester, and I was the Sports Editor for five.
These are the last words for the DC that I shall write; the last mark that I shall leave.
After all I have accomplished, the byline still seems undeserved.
To all those that have allowed me to share in their lives these past four years- you have all my love in the light and sound.
Until I see you again, stay classy Mustangs.