I owe so much to this paper. I truly can’t state enough how terrified I was my first day writing for The Lumberjack. I sat in that second-floor Communication building classroom, staring at the board of story pitches I had to choose from for my first-ever story. Sebastian Moore, who later became a friend and mentor, was my highly intimidating editor. I remember telling my boyfriend I might drop the class because it seemed like it would be way too hard, but he encouraged me to continue just a little longer to see if I would like it. Turns out, I liked it. Soon after, I was hired to be on Editorial Board and my knowledge of journalism grew and grew. Paired with my journalism classes, the editing and management duties I took on changed my perspective on journalism as a whole. Those next few semesters, I took over the Culture section, was promoted to my dream role of Managing Editor and then switched routes to be Director of Digital Content in my last semester. The versatility this publication has given me is more than enough.
Though, on top of the mounds of experience I get to fill my resume with, I also experienced what it was like to work in a real newsroom. Friendships, drama, late nights staying up to get breaking news out, chattering around the conference table when we were supposed to be listening and so much more came out of my time with The Lumberjack.
I was very lucky to serve under three very different, but equally talented editors-in-chief (EIC) during my time at the paper. To Matthew Strissel, who told me I was going to do great things at our paper, I hope I proved you right. To Bailey Helton, who showed me what it meant to work hard, but still be on top of virtually everything, I hope I can take your organization skills and leadership with me. To Brady Wheeler, who was the first to tell me congratulations when I became Managing Editor and who navigated a very difficult semester during a pandemic, I hope I have even a fragment of your passion. To our new EIC, Scout Ehrler, I know you’re going to kill it as you do with everything you take on. To Nathan Manni, who was my assistant only a year ago, but feels like a lifetime ago, I’m going to miss you and I know you’re going to bring so much to the role of managing next semester. To Nayomi, to Ash, to Jacob, to Trevor, to Sebastian, to Aleah, to Maddie, to Shawn, to David Church, to Cam, to Ryan, to Kyler, thank you all for showing me that it is possible to love what you do and to come into work every day with a smile. To everyone who has worked on The Lumberjack these past three years, thank you for teaching me we can do anything no matter how many obstacles come our way. To our adviser David Harpster, thank you for writing me a recommendation letter whenever I asked, thank you for being a mentor and shaping me into the journalist I am today and for keeping us all afloat. This paper has taught me so much and everyone I have ever been graced to meet will leave lasting impressions on my life.
So, the moral of this super sappy story is that if something feels hard or terrifying, don’t run away from it. Run straight to it. I promise you’ll learn so much.