Editor-in-chief bids farewell

When I joined the staff five semesters ago, I didn’t know the first thing about writing for a newspaper. All I knew is that I wanted to write.

I walked into The Pine Log office that day for my interview and was afraid of being rejected for not having any experience.

Somehow, I convinced them to put me on staff as a contributing writer.

Eager to learn, I soaked up every piece of advice and knowledge my superiors handed down to me that semester, and I improved each week. I must have impressed the editors because I was promoted to staff writer the next semester.

I continued to improve and continued to be promoted. I also held the positions of news editor, managing editor, and this semester, the highest and most esteemed of them all, editor-in-chief.

That title holds weight on it. Never in my wildest dreams did I believe I would ever be given the opportunity to hold such a position. And when my adviser mentioned the idea to me, it was honestly just that—an idea.

When I was given the position, I was terrified. I felt as if I wasn’t prepared. But if there’s anything The Pine Log has taught me, it’s that I was never prepared for any of the positions I held.

And if that didn’t stop me from doing my best then, why should learning how to lead an entire staff stop me now?

Nothing prepares you for being editor-in-chief. There are no guidelines. There are no instructions. There is no right way to lead a staff of writers, editors, photographers and videographers.

It's a lot of trial and error and just hoping and praying you’ve done something right at the end of every issue. When you do get something right, you capitalize on it. And when you do something wrong—and trust me, you will make mistakes—you take responsibility for it and learn from it.

All in all, it was one of the wildest rides I’ve ever taken, and I enjoyed every single minute of it.

There have been so many people who have gotten me to the point I’m at now, and I can’t thank all of them enough for everything you’ve done for me.

First and foremost, I have to thank God. My faith is a big part of who I am, and none of this would’ve been possible without God. I’m stronger, wiser and better because of this journey. I can’t thank him enough for this learning experience.

To my parents, thank you for always being in my corner and seeing the best in me. Thank you for constantly pushing me to be a better version of myself every day. Thank you for teaching me that hard work will get you where you want to go in life. Most importantly, thank you for your love.

To my best friends Jessica and Tamia, thank you for always supporting me and never letting me count myself out. From bringing me dinner on production nights, to making sure I always made it back to my dorm safely, thank you. You both exhibit the true definition of what a friend is. If it weren’t for you two believing in me, I would never have sent the application in to become editor-in-chief. And looking back now, I would have regretted it. I appreciate you both so much.

To my wonderful editors, there is no one I would’ve rather gone on this journey with than you guys. This semester was truly a team effort. Everybody had each other’s back, and on productions nights, you all trusted my judgment on any decision I made. I learned just as much from you all as you may have learned from me. I’m going to miss working with y’all. Y’all are the best.

Last, but certainly not least, I would like to thank my adviser, Amy Roquemore. Amy, thank you for taking a chance on me for all five semesters that I have been on staff. I have learned so much from you. From watching you check my pages on production nights to you giving me advice anytime I asked. Thank you for making a journalist out of me. I seriously can’t thank you enough for your constant encouragement.

As I prepare myself for graduation in May, and to further my education in graduate school, I will always carry the memories of The Pine Log with me. I won’t forget the friends I’ve made, and I certainly won’t forget the skills I learned.

While this goodbye is not an easy one, I can’t wait to see what God has in store for my future.

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