Semester reflections — sentimental thank you post

This is the blog equivalent of that paper insert you get whenever you buy a CD, where all the musicians thank everyone who made the record possible.

I’ve grown a lot this semester. I’m infinitely better as a journalist, so much so that I look at anything I wrote before the Missourian, or heck, even some of the things I wrote at the beginning of the semester, and think to myself, “Wow. That … wasn’t very good.”

I’ve also grown a lot personally. I’m learning to believe in myself. I’m learning confidence. I’m learning to be honest with other people about my life. I’m learning to accept a lot of things I’d rather deny.

And I think I owe a lot of that to my incredible beat from this semester. We complimented each other really well, filling each other’s weaknesses and growing each other’s strengths. We encouraged each other when things were hard, whether that was a hug, a chance to rant or a late-night baking session.

Basically, this beat was really good for me.

All semester long, I had Abigail there to balance me. When I was constantly freaking out about everything, she stayed cool and encouraged me. Her drive and determination was infectious.

Celia was always there to make me smile. Whether it was making an obscure TV show reference or joking with me when I was frustrated, Celia’s calm presence always helped me get my head straight.

Breanna was a huge source of encouragement in the newsroom. She could always remind me that there was a lot more to me and my life than what did or didn’t happen at the paper. When I was down, she reminded me of who I am and what I stand for.

Nicole was always there to remind me that there’s life outside the newsroom. She balanced a lot of different things and somehow managed to get it all done. She always helped me remember that there are a lot of things I care about that aren’t reporting when I’d get stressed out.

Margaux could very well be my personality twin. There were definitely a few “we’re the same person” moments this semester. But it helped a lot. It helped me to have someone who had been in my shoes. She was someone I trusted, and she was always there to tell me I was a rock star. Not to mention that she bought me ice cream when my story fell through and organized all of the beat’s baking parties.

Shaina was my official “question answerer” for the semester. I’m not sure if I drove her crazy with all of my random questions and uncertainties, but it was really good for me to have somewhere to bounce all my random thoughts. Her confidence and ability to take charge was really inspiring for me.

Ryan (RyFy) was nothing short of impressive. Even when he couldn’t be in the newsroom, he still strove to have a presence on the beat. And he came to all of our baking parties and let us use his house for the last one. I’ve got a lot of respect for him.

Zach is someone I look up to as a reporter. He’s cool. He’s confident. He’s apparently the social equivalent of the honey badger. He was a strong presence on the beat.

Kate can always make me smile. Whether it’s making a random Mean Girls reference or taking part in some stress-relieving newsroom jokes, she makes me laugh and helps me keep my cool. Not to mention that she’s really good at what she does.

Nan was my partner for my multimedia project, and she played a key role in helping me stay calm throughout the whirlwind of trying to put it together. Her calm demeanor could always cool me down and remind me that everything was going to be okay. I have so much respect for her ability to be a grad student, work at the Missourian and take care of a baby. Now that’s impressive.

Lauren was always a big encouragement when I saw her. She was always willing to listen if I needed somewhere to vent, and I always really enjoyed the chance to talk to her about whatever she was working on. I was always really impressed with how she balanced a busy schedule with newsroom responsibilities.

Ratko was sort of the newsroom equivalent of an older brother. He’s been around for a while and always seems comfortable when he’s around you. He’ll have a random conversation about life with you, and even though I didn’t know him extremely well, I always felt at ease when he was around. Also, he served me a delicious scoop of Sparky’s ice cream.

Liz. I don’t think I have words. Liz Brixey is exactly what I needed this semester. I legitimately don’t know if I would have learned what I did this spring if I hadn’t had her as an editor. She has this insight into how I work that I don’t even think some of my longtime friends have. I’m 2o years old, and sometimes she gets things and tells me things about myself that I wonder if I’ve been waiting 20 years to hear. She has been what I needed, whether that was a “suck it up and deal with it” when I was afraid to do something or a “you don’t suck” when I was pretty much convinced I did. A couple of conversations with her about the things I struggle with have been monumental in helping me begin to deal with those things instead of hating them and trying to wish them away. I have more respect for Liz than I know what to do with. Also, she is a really incredible editor and made many of my stories a lot cleaner, tighter and better than they would have been otherwise.

It’s been a good semester. It’s been one of growth and change. It’s been one of starting to figure out what I’m passionate about. It’s been one of building and rebuilding myself. It’s been one I will remember for a long time. But part of the reason it was good was because of the people who helped make it that way.

Thanks.

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