When I first came to the University of Indianapolis, I was a little intimidated. As a first-generation college student, I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders and was rightly terrified. Flash forward to the present: I no longer feel the weight of the world, but rather a sense of pride for making my way through.
The first time I joined The Reflector, I had no idea what I was doing. I knew I wanted to do journalism, but I did not know what kind. I also did not think of myself as much of a writer, but I signed up for the class anyway. This quickly became one of the best decisions I have ever made. I discovered that I had a passion for writing and for keeping the world informed.
After a semester or so, I was convinced by the editor-in-chief and managing editor that I should apply for a position on the editorial staff. I hesitated to do this because I was still new to The Reflector. After applying and getting a position, I was quickly invited into the loving, chaotic family that is The Reflector.
I learned how to edit and design — all while growing as a person. I also developed a coffee addiction after several long productions, but this sort of thing happens under those stressful conditions. I learned from each challenge that arose and continued on.
One of the most significant things I have gained from my time on The Reflector is the friendships I have made. I met some of my closest and dearest friends through The Reflector, and I will forever be grateful. I will have these friends for a long time, although it is sad to think that in the future we will never be as close as we are now.
I also want to take a moment to thank my adviser, Jeanne Criswell, for believing in me and for her unabashed optimism. It made the hard days for the newspaper so much easier.
I will miss you all. I will miss UIndy. I have had the time of my life here. Before I sign off for the last time, let me leave you with this. You will often hear people saying “fake news” or that the media are the enemy of the people — but we’re not. Good journalism will give voice to the voiceless and hold those in power accountable. Without that, there is no check on injustices and nothing holding back those in power from hurting those who are not.
The famous broadcast journalist Walter Cronkite once said, “Journalism is what we need to make democracy work.” Cronkite was correct, and this is more important now than ever.