Four years passed so quickly, and I’m still processing the fact that I am graduating from college. I have had many, many great memories that I will cherish forever, as well as learned and grew so much as a person.
Three years ago, I emailed the Samford Crimson staff at the time about being interested in writing for the newspaper. Then, when the opportunity to apply for a paid staff position arose, I jumped at the chance and was hired as the Arts and Life section editor the next year. From interviewing Miss Samford to attending a Birmingham theater production, my passion for writing and editing flourished during this time.
Along with writing Arts and Life stories, I also jumped into breaking news writing, covering a variety of news topics including the reports of a novel coronavirus that had broken out in China. I continued covering COVID-19 as it arrived in the United States and changed our lives forever. Even during quarantine I wrote a few stories for the Crimson website before we stopped working.
Over the summer of 2020, I applied for the Editor-in-Chief job and had so many ideas written down on how I could continue to improve the newspaper and our website. Right before we returned to school that Fall, I was told I got the job.
Being a leader of a student newspaper has included a lot of responsibilities outside of writing and editing stories. I had to organize the weekly staff meetings on Zoom, provide guidance and advice for the section editors, recruit new writers, establish connections within the Samford community, and still write and do page layouts if needed.
Then, this past year, I took on the daunting task of returning the Crimson to print and rebuilding the paper from scratch. During that first week of producing the paper I clocked in almost double my normal hours and worked hard to make sure everything was perfect. While sometimes photos would look dark, blurry or the text was off, I didn’t feel discouraged. Every edition that we put out this past year had been a major learning curve for me and the other staff members, and I am so proud of the hard work that each and every person in the Crimson staff put to make something that we knew we could be proud of.
This job also taught me the importance of organization, as I have also had to balance my academics and Greek life duties on a daily basis. But, if I was asked if I would do it again, I would answer “Absolutely.”
If I could give advice to my younger, high school self or other students, here is what I would say is important to thriving in college:
- Self-care is crucial to maintaining your passions and overall health. Take time for yourself, whether it be rest, exercise, or a hobby.
- If you ever feel stressed about a test you took or an essay you turn in, I always tell myself “You did your best, and that is the best you can do.”
- Have an open mind about joining a club, organization, or even Greek life. You never know where it will take you and who you will meet.
- There will always be an opportunity to learn from others. Be attentive and ask questions.
- You will find the most amazing friendships that will last forever during your time in college. Enjoy the little things you do with them.
I wouldn’t be the woman I am today without the people that inspired me to pursue my passions.
To my parents: You have been so supportive of me throughout my college career, and have always been there for me if I ever needed something. I am the person I am today because of everything you have done for me, and there are no words to express how blessed and thankful I am to have you as my parents. I love you so much.
To my 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 Crimson staff: You all have inspired me and shaped me into the journalist I am. We have been through a lot together, from the late nights in the office laughing and working on page layouts, to picking up the Crimson papers in the rain. You have all made something that you should be proud of, and I hope you continue to inspire others with your hard work and dedication to journalism. You are now a part of Samford Crimson’s 107-year-old history.
To my advisor Ana Good: Thank you for guiding me through these last two years as Editor-in-Chief and teaching me what it means to be a leader and journalist. You have been an amazing advisor and you have left some big shoes to fill as you begin your new post-doctoral fellowship job at Samford next semester.
I also want to thank some of the professors who have helped shape me into the student and journalist I am today and pushed me to pursue other passions. Dr. Fosu, thank you for hearing out my different ideas about the newspaper as well as providing me with some feedback and ideas on how I can continue to improve the Samford Crimson. Dr. Carey, thank you for teaching me about the importance of good journalism, explaining why print newspapers look the way they do, and overall being a professor I can always ask for advice or feedback on something. Dr. Emmons, you saw me grow and change as a journalism student from someone who talked about possibly going into public relations and working for Disney in the future to now a print a broadcast journalism student who has finally found something she loves doing. Thank you for being an amazing advisor and cheerleader throughout my college career.
I also want to thank you, the reader, for picking up this copy of the Samford Crimson. This newspaper has become my pride and joy that I am so happy to share with you. By picking up this paper and reading it, you are acknowledging all the hard work and long hours that have gone into making this paper a reality and provide you with the information to stay informed on what is happening within the Samford community.
Journalism is an ever-evolving field, and I am so glad that I have been taught by some of the best on how to prepare for this career. In the near future, I plan to find a full time job in Nashville, Tennessee at a local news organization.
It has been an honor serving you, Samford.
Thank you for the memories.