It is only fitting that my last production day ever with the Sentinel takes place right before we leave for Thanksgiving. Without any doubt, the Sentinel has been the best part of my entire college career and I am incredibly grateful for it.
I transferred to KSU after my sophomore year of college and quickly considered dropping out and finishing my degree online. The transition from a small private school to a school with over 30,000 students was overwhelming. Only at the urging of my mom to persist at KSU did I not drop out entirely. I was glad to have listened to her advice, as I soon discovered the Sentinel.
During my second semester at KSU, I walked into the newsroom for the first time. I started out by lending a helping hand to then-production manager Payton Butler on production days. When she left and her position opened up, I immediately applied and felt so hopeful and excited to begin my new position.
After starting the job, I felt like a real journalist and began learning new things to become confident in my work. Not only did I feel more capable, but also felt as if I had found my place. I met the people who made this huge school feel like a community.
At the beginning of this semester, I took on an additional role as engagement director. Although it is not common for someone to hold two different positions, the staff has supported me. When I was doing well, they encouraged me. When I struggled to juggle all the responsibilities, they showed me empathy and understanding.
The hours have been long and challenges plentiful. In the end, those long hours and challenges were the exact things that helped me to grow over these last three semesters. I understand myself a little bit more, understand journalism a little bit more and have met people who inspire me week after week. I am so thankful for this organization and hope it continues to bring student journalists together for many years to come.