During my freshman year in January 2019, I stumbled into publishing with The Wichitan because I wanted to get a good grade on my very first news story for Bradley Wilson’s class. After reading my whole story in less than a minute, Wilson sent my story to the newsroom to be edited and published. When I became more actively involved in 2020 and 2021, it was because I fell in love with not only journalism but also all the driven people at The Wichitan who work hard every week to bring MSU students quality news. I admire The Wichitan staff members not only because they give nothing less than their best for every story, every photo and every publication design; but also because they are genuinely kind people, and the hilarious newsroom banter is sometimes the highlight of my day. The staff is the only group of people I know who can have a lively debate over the color green in a headline or a punctuation rule. I’ve always thought I wanted to be a journalist because I wanted to bring the community together with my writing. Writing for The Wichitan this year has reminded me of another reason why spending numerous hours on a story is rewarding. When I interview people, and I see the passion in their eyes or hear the certainty or love for what they do in their voice, I get to write that down. I am one of the lucky people who gets to document people’s pride and joy so that they can look back on their own words one day and know they were a part of something special. When I go on to pursue a journalism career, I know the field will come with many challenges, but I’m hoping there will always be those people, interviewees and members of the staff that make the hard work worth it. MSU has been my home for the past three years, and my college experience wouldn’t have been the same without The Wichitan.
Goodbye MSU newsroom and thank you for the memories,
To the Wichitan, thank you. Thank you for pushing me into becoming a better writer and thank you for broadening my horizons and forcing me to step outside of my tiny little comfort zone. Facing The Wichitan my sophomore year was scary. I was young, immature and honestly afraid of what was yet to come. I remember telling my mom, “I don’t know if I’m built for this. I’m not ready. I’m so scared,” but little did I know I would fall in love with writing by telling the passionate stories of others through my own eyes and experiences.
I’m glad I didn’t let my own fears stop me, because The Wichitan has become a part of my family, and these people that come in and out of those doors are amazing. They light up any room they walk in. They are so passionate about what they do, and that passion and drive only pushes me to produce my best work. Because of this team, I found part of myself, I found what I want to do for the rest of my life and I found my confidence. I’m thankful to have this organization be a part of my college experience, and, as hard as it is to say goodbye, I am so proud of the work that we’ve done together. I’ve been able to interview people I probably would have been afraid to approach two years ago and I’ve been able to share people’s stories that needed to be heard. There’s no greater joy than giving the voiceless a voice.
Looking back on that young girl who tilted her head down when asked to join The Wichitan because she wasn’t confident in her writing skills and looking at the woman I am today, I can say The Wichitan helped shape me. It wasn’t always easy juggling between my course work and making time to interview people, but it was so worth it. I am a better writer, I am a better listener and I know I can take over this industry and shine bright. For that, I will forever be grateful.
Thank you for your support, thank you for your inspiration, and thank you for helping me find that spark that I thought I never had.
It’s been real. Xoxo