Coming to the University of Indianapolis as a freshman, I was undecided about my major and I only vaguely envisioned myself in a writing career. I ultimately struggled during my freshman year, because of my laziness and lack of passion for the classes I was taking, until I joined The Reflector in my second semester. Although I still had much to learn in terms of how to write as a journalist, versus the writing I had done before, I could tell almost immediately what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
One of the most vivid memories I have of my freshman year is confidently turning in my first article to the news editor at the time, Mercadees Hempel, and getting it back essentially covered in red ink. While this was intimidating and somewhat demoralizing at first, I learned that being critiqued and edited was the best way to continually improve, and I have developed a very thick skin as a result. This has to be the thing I appreciate most about The Reflector staff. While we may rip each other’s stories apart during critiques, we are all still friends and know not to take it personally.
I have made friendships on The Reflector that I will no doubt carry with me throughout the rest of my life and have had mentors that have contributed greatly to my improvement and success.
Without the help and guidance of the editors that came before me, I would not be the journalist that I am today, or the one that I plan to be in the future. My gratitude for The Reflector’s adviser, Jeanne Criswell, is especially hard to measure. When I had nearly given up on applying for positions on The Reflector because of my struggling grades, Jeanne convinced me to keep applying.
This past year, as managing editor, I have enjoyed mentoring some of the other staff members and watching them grow as journalists. I can’t express how proud I am to see how far many of our staff has come in just this past year. Although I’m beyond excited to go out into the world and start my career as a journalist, I will miss my time on The Reflector.
From the crazy late-night conversations we have on production to us all cracking up at a random comment during a story meeting, there are moments from my time on staff that I will never forget. While it’s bitter-sweet to be leaving, I have no doubt in my mind that The Reflector will be in good hands for the years to come.
I know it sounds cliche, but if five years ago you would have told me that I would be where I am now, I would not have believed it. I began my journey at Ball State five years ago as a pre-med major. Three years into that major I decided it wasn’t for me. Yes, it took me a while to realize it, but at least I did. I just wasn’t passionate about what I was doing. To me, it all felt like a chore, and that got me thinking. If I was going to go down a certain path in life, I wanted to love what I was doing and not see it as a chore, so that is when I decided to change my major to communication. Along with switching majors I decided to go all the way and just switch cities too. I was ready for change.
Now, I type this as a fifth-year senior about to graduate. I moved to Indianapolis a year-and-a-half ago and my life has changed more in this amount of time than in my three years at Ball State. Just being a part of the University of Indianapolis community changed me. It is a completely different vibe here and I don’t know if that is because it is a smaller school, but I got closer to people here. In my time here at UIndy, I have gotten the opportunity to be a part of different organizations such as the school’s public relations firm, Top Dog Communication, and the school paper, The Reflector.
In Top Dog Communication, I met some of the best people on campus and I got to experience the world of public relations which I never thought would interest me, but I ended up loving. As a part of The Reflector staff, I have gotten the chance to take on the role of online editor and have gotten to be a part of The Reflector family.
Using what I learned here at UIndy, I became the social media manager for several bars and businesses here in Indianapolis and I have absolutely loved it and have learned a lot. I was even able to create a banner that was hung up downtown for a St. Patrick’s Day event. Not many get to say that. Taking this on would have never been made possible without all the guidance that I received in my time here at UIndy.
I see myself now compared to before and I don’t know how I have done it. I have taken on three jobs and 17 credit hours each semester and have made it. Now, I am about to walk on that stage and I have never felt more confident in myself. I am excited for what the future has in store for me. I never thought I would be where I am now, so looking into the future I’m excited because who knows what will happen.
Cassie Reverman | Photo Editor
The crazy thing about school, and life in general, is that you never know where it’s going to take you. During my freshman year, I swore I would never take Applied Journalism. I didn’t have the best experiences in high school with journalism and I loved being a part of TV. Plus, I’m not the biggest fan of writing.
As sophomore year approached, I was convinced by friend to register for the class last minute. It was one of the best decisions I made and I even ended up being a part of the management staff that year. I also rediscovered my love for photography. I was able to stretch my talents in ways I had never done before and found out I really enjoy sports photography. But the best part about my experience here is how much I’ve learned and seen myself grow over the last three years. It’s also amazing to watch others learn and grow. I can’t wait to put to use the skills I learned here out in the real world.