The end

In about two weeks, I’ll be leaving the rec center with a box full of personal belongings, probably looking very distraught.

Three years ago this July, Annie Benson, (Or Mary Anne, or Mary if you prefer) took a chance on me. I was just a punk high school reporter with very little direction.

Every day since I’ve been at college, I’ve identified as a Torch employee.

On May 1st, that will cease to be true.

So we come to the obvious question; what is it I got out of this?

Is it a pretty spot on my resume? Definitely. Was it a great experience? Absolutely.

The problem I have is that it has been a constant. Every day in my young adulthood has had some connection to this paper.

I’m not at all worried about what will happen to this place after I go. They’re in fantastic hands. I’m a little frightened for myself.

I’ve seen several people go through the doors here. Some leave in a depressing cynicism, others leave sadly, and others storm out.

I could use the “Real World,” line to scare the crap out of myself, but its too cliche for this instance. I’ve seen plenty of real world stuff here.

Last year, a student was shot at the Venlo apartments. I didn’t sleep until the stories were done. That’s what real world reporters do.

Then, I stood and listened to students who felt wronged by our reporting. I experienced a completely new perspective of reporting.

I want desperately for people to understand how journalism works, but in the age of Facebook and Twitter, it seems less and less possible every day.

What I learned is that true journalism is a vastly misunderstood field. It’s been watered down by bad networks and people that are willing to sell out.

The other thing I learned is that there is very good journalism being done out there, but it sometimes can be hard to find.

You won’t regret looking. It certainly changed my life.