by BRITTNY STEGALL//Opinion Editor
Just like many great adventures, mine must come to an end.
Journalism is not just a career. To me, it is a way of life. It is my way of changing the world. I joined the journalism field in the hopes of one day changing the world. I believe there is good in this world, but someone has to be out there to find it. My love for writing goes beyond just diaries and journals; it is part of my life. Without it, I believe I would be lost. I did not decide to pursue journalism until my junior year of high school. It is one of my best decisions in my life.
Joining the Plainsman Press has also been one of my best decisions I have made since graduating from high school. It has been my second home at South Plains College. My first semester in college was the fall of 2016. To say I was nervous was an understatement. My second day of class, I walked into Publications. This was my first of many steps towards the career path I chose. The Plainsman Press staff welcomed me. They welcomed every single one of us with open arms.
My first semester on the staff, I was only a staff writer. You could say I was just testing the water, before diving straight in. It was rocky in the beginning, with late stories, nervous interviews, and long nights. But I would not change a single thing, minus a late story here and there. I learned what it was like to essentially be a journalist. I know when I graduate and actually get a real job in journalism that it will be very different. It will be longer nights, stories, and hard-headed people…. More than there are in this Newsroom. But I would not trade a single thing for a different chance.
This semester, my second, I became the Opinion Editor. That was not in my plans. I heard about how hard it was, and the late nights from 2:30 p.m. to possibly sometime the next morning, every other Tuesday and Thursday. I had no desire to be there that late, but a certain pinky promise made me change my mind.
Charles Ehrenfeld, a.k.a. “Charlie” to us all, is truly one of the best advisors and friends to all at SPC. Fate did not land me Charlie as an advisor, but my career field did. Near the beginning of my first semester, I made a pinky promise to him, a promise I fulfilled this year. I promised I would become an editor before a left. I want Charlie to know how thankful I am to him, for holding me to that promise. All the long Tuesday and Thursday nights were worth it. Through the struggles, arguments, and all the victories, I loved every bit of it. It was tough, and I wanted to pull my hair out and cry sometimes. But it was worth it. I learned so many new things this semester that I never thought were possible, and it was all because you held me to that pinky promise. So, plain and simple, thank you.
Friendships are something special and on this staff. You gain many. Many of these friendships I hope will hold through the years, no matter how far apart we are, or the different paths we take. You may not like some people, and you may get angry for people not turning in a story, but it is like a family. It is a family; it is the Plainsman Press family. I know I have not been on the staff as long as some, but I believe the experience is just as good.
And these are my experiences with a few of the editors: First, there is Sara Marshall, editor-in-chief.
My first semester, I did not think I wanted to get to know her. There was nothing against her, I was just hesitant. If anyone ever gets the chance to meet her, do it. She will change your life. I got to know her this semester, and it was too short to say goodbye. She is by far my best friend on this staff. She is always there to give a smile, hugs, a helping hand, or words of encouragement. Whatever you needed, she was there, even if she had a page or a story she had to finish. I would sit and talk to her for hours after class, and she kept me sane. Checking to see if I was OK, and just stopping to say hello are among her best qualities. She deserves so many thanks, and I cannot thank her enough for what she has done for me, not only on the staff but in my life.
Unlike many on the staff, Steven keeps to himself most of the time. We did not do much on the paper together, but he was always there to talk to. I do enjoy talking and anyone who likes to listen. He was always there to enjoy a conversation with. Steven always kept a calm composure, and he always had my back and made sure I was OK. Thank you for being a friend that I could always count on.
Computers and me do not really work well with each other, but Tyler showed me the ropes a bit. I know so much more than I did a semester ago, and it is because he took the time to show me how and teach me. New staff members joining next semester are very lucky to have Tyler. He is not only a good I.T. guy, but a good overall person.
A friendship that is probably one of the strongest in the room, I had more than just publications with Miss Brandi and Alex, and I am very pleased that I did. Goofing off during Paper Night talking about anything and everything are some of my favorite memories I will have with you both on the staff. Brandi had my back at times when I might have needed it, and you both always gave me a laugh. Thank you for being you.
Let me just say how scared, nervous, and out of place I was while taking my first photograph for a teacher feature I wrote my first semester. I barely knew how to even work the camera, but Tovi was there to help. She is one of the best photographers I know, and she gave me the confidence to take my first photograph. She helped me with the Man on the Street pictures and taught me how to grayscale and get the brightness and contrast just right. She gave me many laughs and smiles by just talking to her. If someone were the light in a dark room, it would be her.
There are many more people on the staff, but they are just a few who really changed my life. But there are a few people who changed my life and helped me on this journey before I began it.
My parents and brothers are always there for me, and they never fail to always tell me how proud they are. They are my number one fans, and my mom has every one of my papers. They are more than just my support system; they are my family. Without family, I believe you would go nowhere in life. Whether they’re blood or not, it is still a family. I always knew I could do anything because of them, and I am forever thankful for that. I love you all for being the support system I need.
To my wonderful boyfriend, Timothy, thank you. Thank you for always having a part in my journalism life. Thank you for listening to countless stories and giving me your feedback. Thank you for believing in me that I could be an editor when I was scared to become one. You always have faith in me, and you never doubt that I can do anything I set my mind to. You are one of my biggest fans, and I know you always will be. I love you and thank you.
So this is why my journey as an editor for the Plainsman Press has come to an end. In the fall of 2017, I will be at Angelo State University, majoring in Mass Media with a specialization in journalism. I plan on making the newspaper there a home. I’m not sure if I will have the same relationships I have on the Plainsman Press, but I will treasure every moment that I had here. I’m beyond excited to start my new journey, and cannot wait to see what the future holds for me.