“What are you gonna get?” Dad asked.

“A college degree!” 6-year-old me yelled excitedly.

I was saying I was going to earn a degree before I even knew what college was. My dad taught me well, I suppose. From an early age, I knew I was going to attend college however, it took me a while to figure out what career I wanted to pursue.

I wanted to be many things growing up: a pediatrician, a professional wrestler, a homicide detective, a meteorologist. However, all those years, I was ignoring the one thing I seemed to show talent in  — writing. My teachers saw it. Other students saw it, but it took me a while to catch on.

Junior year of high school, I joined my tiny school newspaper and eventually became the editor-in-chief my senior year. Thus began my journey pursuing journalism.

I didn’t begin my college career as a Red Raider. In fact, I started as an Eagle at the University of North Texas. Although I met some amazing people, I quickly realized Denton wasn’t the place for me. I was alone for the most part. I had no friends or family nearby; I had a job that I didn’t enjoy. My freshman year was rather dark, with some bright lights randomly thrown in.

I made the decision to transfer to Texas Tech at the end of my freshman year, and I don’t regret it for a second.

Upon arriving, I applied to be a writer and editor for La Ventana, Tech’s yearbook (yes, we have a yearbook). Soon after I was hired however, I was asking myself what on Earth I had gotten myself into.

I would have two or three stories to work on simultaneously, sources would not respond to my emails or phone calls, and all the while, deadlines loomed around the corner like a black figure waiting to devour me. The workload nearly broke me, and as if that wasn’t enough, I decided to transition right around the corner to The Daily Toreador. It was the same experience: deadlines, silent sources, multiple stories to write. I was nearly broken again.

But would I trade any of these hardships? Not at all.

Although there are several rainy days, the sunny days outshine all of them. I’ve gotten to cover several interesting events and stories during my time here and meet many interesting figures as well.

I have gotten to witness history being made, triumph and heartbreak.

In Student Media, I found a home away from home.

I found a very talented and supporting family. There are many individuals I must thank for helping me along in this journey. Where do I even start?

To my former boss, the amazingly talented and hardworking Davian Hopkins, thank you for taking a chance on me and allowing me to be part of Student Media three years ago. Has it really been that long? If you hadn’t hired me, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

McKenzi Morris, thank you for all the support and encouragement you have given me these last two years. I know it wasn’t always easy running this publication, but you did it with such willpower and ease I don’t think I’ve ever seen in anyone before. Thank you for being such a great boss, and I wish you the very best in your future goals.

Sheri Lewis and Andrea Watson, two of the most professional, hardworking advisers, you both have taught me so much. I can’t thank you enough for all the help, support and critiques you have given me. You both have helped me to become a better writer and hone my skills to the best of my ability.

Finally, to one of my very best friends and the future Editor-in-Chief, Austin Watts, you have also shown me immense support and encouragement these last two years. You always pushed me to keep going and pursue my dreams, even when I wanted to give up. You have tremendous talent, and I have no doubt you’ll take this publication to new heights next fall. The DT is in great hands, and I cannot wait to see what you will do.

I could go on, but there are far too many people to name.

The DT has been the experience of a lifetime and has helped kick-start my journalistic career. As I prepare to move on, I’ll never forget the people here who helped me along the way.

With that, my time here has come to an end. To my DT family, thank you for everything, and I will miss you all dearly. I love all of you.

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