I could write thousands upon thousands of words about how The Pine Log has touched my life, but sadly I cannot surpass more than 700, so here it goes:
When I took my first journalism class, I hated it. I thought it was stupid to write in inverted pyramid style. I hated that I could not use an oxford comma. I felt like all the life was sucked out of everything I would ever write, and I would never have a creative voice.
Boy, was I wrong.
One day two years ago, I mustered up all of my courage and applied for The Pine Log. I had always loved writing, so why not give this a shot? I hadn’t caught the journalism bug quite just yet, but after my first interview, it was like I was set on fire in the best way possible.
I was first hired on as a staff writer. I got to cover forestry, ROTC and the liberal arts. I was so filled with passion, I thought I could change the world one article at a time. And through my time at The Pine Log, my world has changed one article at a time.
I used to never be able to talk to strangers. Making phone calls made me nervous. Being slightly aggressive was never part of my nature. But here I am, two years later and my life has changed for the better.
Journalism has given me a sense of freedom that I never had before. More importantly, it gave me the best friends in the world and the most passionate colleagues I could ask for.
We as journalists spend so much time interviewing others, asking them to share their stories with us that we can become lost in the mix. We become a medium for these people who are brave enough to share their stories.
Ask a journalist what they believe in and why they do what they do, and there is no doubt in my mind that you, too, will want to change the world. I’ve met the most inspiring people in my life, and they are all editors, writers, photographers or videographers.
I’ve gotten to meet my junior high heroes because of The Pine Log. I went to physical training with the ROTC at 5 a.m. I hiked through forests and learned so much about my University while on staff. I think my favorite memory would be as social media editor, being on the field at Homer Bryce for Homecoming, taking photos that will help me remember a happy part of my life for the rest of my life.
I’d like to thank Shannon Poe, who encouraged me to apply for The Pine Log. Without her subtle pushing, I probably never would have applied, and I am forever grateful that you are in my life.
To Parastoo Nikravesh, my first editor-in-chief and a woman I look up to, I am so grateful that you took a chance on me as a reporter and so thankful that you continue to push me as a journalist and a person.
To all the editors, past and present, thank you for letting me turn my stories in late and dealing with my crippling La Croix obsession. You have all taught me so much in indescribable and numerous ways. I would not have wanted to go on this journey with anyone else but you all.
To Amy Roquemore, who is, in my unbiased opinion, the best newspaper adviser. Thank you for keeping us on our game, helping me whenever I needed it and being a role model to all of us.
I will greatly miss The Pine Log and the friends I have made through it. The things we love always have a way of coming back to us. And lastly, I’d like to thank God, from whom all good things come. All glory to Him.