In my tenure at the Ferris State Torch, I’ve written 86 articles, held five positions, worked on 84 editions overall and oversaw 30 editions as editor-in-chief, but most importantly, I’ve made friendships that will last a lifetime.
I have had the opportunity to report on countless matters of the utmost importance from campus issues and elections, to emerging technology and incidents that gained international attention. I have gained valuable experiences while working alongside peers that push me to be my best. They also taught me so much that I could have never picked up in a classroom.
I gained my tenacity and persistence from watching my first editor-in-chief man the phones trying to get comments and quotes, and when that didn’t work, go and patiently wait outside of offices just to get the two words that speak volumes, “no comment.” She showed me the thrill of digging deeper into a story. I will forever cherish the memory of working on a story until sunrise to make sure it made it to print. I have never been so exhausted yet purely awake.
I gained flexibility and quick-thinking skills from a news reporter and opinions editor who never quit. She always took dead ends or bad leads in stride and was ready to adapt at a moment’s notice. She taught me to examine stories through as many lenses as possible to ensure that I was telling my story equitably. She always had a plan or was ten steps ahead in making a new one. I can’t wait to work with her again soon.
Finally, I gained my boldness and creativity from the lifestyle’s editor turned multimedia editor who was never afraid to take risks and try new things. She helped me break out of my shell and become more confident as a reporter and leader. Without her, I’d likely still be cowering in the corner when doing man on the street reporting. I’ll always be in awe of her fearlessness.
I could go on and on about the lasting connections I made here with people that have taught me so much, but I’ll spare you. What I will say is that I’ll remember each and every one of them all throughout my career. While at the end of the day this journey is measured by how well we do by ourselves, we’re never really doing it alone. We’re learning from each other, leaning on each other and helping each other through it.
While in a few short weeks I’ll be off reporting in the nation’s capital and in a few short months perfecting my craft in graduate school in New York City, I know one thing is for certain. Even when I’m seven or eight hundred miles from here, or even more miles from those already into their journeys, I’m one call, FaceTime or text message away from people that will always be in my corner.
I started to perfect my trade here, grew up here and found myself here, but most importantly, I made lifelong friends here. This program has given me so much. I leave with an education, yes, but I also leave with a gaggle of confidants, inspirations, sounding boards, editors and, most importantly, friends. It’s been a pleasure, and although I have a healthy amount of fear about what’s ahead, I know my people will be there for me no matter what happens.