I have been working for the Trop from the very beginning of my freshman year. I remember being wary and insisting to my brother, Caleb, that I would write a story only if it was a movie review.
Oh, if only I knew the variety of topics I would go on to cover, from big-name Troy coaches retiring to small, informative news stories about whether classes would be canceled due the Snowpocalypse of 2014. I have done a little bit of it all.
During my four years with the Tropolitan, I’ve seen many different forms of leadership in my various editors-in-chief, worked with many different people and experienced every form of emotion while contributing to this student newspaper.
I’ve been proud, sad, angry, frustrated, excited, amused and so many other attitudes.
I’ve poured blood, sweat and tears, oh so many tears, into this product with the simple hope that it will be appreciated somewhere, by some student.
As I sit back and reflect on the past semesters and Troppers of old, I realized just how much I’ve learned from all these people.
From Sarah Hutto, I learned that you can never turn in a story too early.
From Ed Bailey, I discovered that people really are noticing you whether you know it or not, so always give it your best effort in everything you do, because you never know what kind of opportunities it may provide.
From Andrew Clay, I accepted that challenges from others and challenging yourself is a good thing.
I remember when I was Variety editor as a sophomore and was boasting for finishing early and Andrew drolly pointed out that I was laying out only one page.
At first I was annoyed, but then when I considered his words I took up his challenge and created more content and requested two pages.
From Cody Muzio, I now understand that just because something is your job, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have to be fun. Passion drives people to work far harder than they would for just a paycheck.
From my brother, I finally grasped the concept that I can never be who he is, but that isn’t a bad thing. Everyone has different traits and different skills, but that doesn’t make them incapable of doing just as good as a job as another.
From April Irvin, I have found that a little laughter can go a long way and sometimes a hug is all you need.
From Josh Thurston, I have learned that there is nothing wrong with standing your ground on something if it is something you truly believe in.
Jonathan Bryant, Laura Hutto and Zach Winslett have all helped me advance my writing, and I know there will always be room for more improvement.
There are so many other people I could mention and list the many lessons I have learned from this small student newspaper that believes in itself and its value to Troy’s students. Please know that even if I didn’t mention you, you have most definitely impacted my life in some way.
For all my friends and family members who have supported me as I have worked on this paper, thank you.
There are no words to express the deep appreciation that I have knowing that you all cared. You cared enough to read my articles and let me know that my efforts were worthwhile, even when I was down on myself.
Much of my work has probably gone unnoticed and overlooked, but I’ve found a simple joy in reporting the facts and that uncovering little facets of the people I interview is a pleasure in and of itself.
I have no firm concept of what I’ll be doing after I graduate, but I do know that the things I have learned at the Trop will stay with me forever, whether I’m writing for a newspaper or not.
It is said not to look back on the past, and even though I cringe sometimes looking at stories I wrote a few semesters back, it is good to see your progress and know that you are developing.
Always be willing to change, and never think that just because you graduated from college there isn’t anything left to learn. Become a student in life, and it will amaze you what you can discover.