by GENEVA NATAL
After my first day in the Newsroom, I wondered, “What in the world had I just done?”
It was weird and uncomfortable for the first few classes because the editor-in-chief was teaching some things.
Everyone was new, so thankfully I wasn’t alone. But I do recall that there was a large population of gingers that seemed threatening.
It’s hard to believe that so much is changing so fast. I will graduate in Spring of 2019 because of the number of dual credit classes I took in high school. I will not be on the Plainsman Press staff, and I will see little of the friends I have made in this class. Graduating in one year put me on a fast track, one that I am thankful for but sad to walk on. I have little time to make friends and keep up with my work during the semester. But in the Newsroom, I did both.
Being a freshman, I had no clue what to do or how to handle college life. The Newsroom became a constant I didn’t realize I needed. I became an editor for the Feature section, as well as Charlie’s student assistant, and moved to Levelland during my second week of school. I realized to be involved more in this class, I needed to let go of my old life. I couldn’t balance going to my hometown every day while taking six classes and doing what I wanted. To better myself, I had to learn to let go, and the Newsroom gave me a reason to do that.
When I left home officially, I became more involved and dedicated to the Newsroom that I don’t regret. It taught me many different things that I know will help me in any path I choose to take within the next few years.
I learned many positive things and had such happy moments with my classmates that really helped me handle my personal problems. There’s something about forgetting your personal problems and pretending that the people in Room 130 are the only ones who matter. Working together on Paper Nights felt like that if we wanted to talk about our messed up life, we did, and if we didn’t we just worked together to finish and go to bed.
Paper Nights were the best and worst of the newspaper. It was great sometimes. We would make jokes, people would be put in a jar, and no one ever had cash for drinks. There was laughing, crying, sleeping, and yelling sometimes that were both good and bad. I think all the emotion was positive. It meant that we cared, even on a small level, about each other from the beginning. If there was no emotion, it would’ve been a bleak and gray situation where no one cared about how the paper turned out, or how everyone was feeling. We all knew how everyone felt because we had already felt it by the last night. Everyone of us has felt the frustration, anger, hate, happiness, contentment, and the feeling that it’ll be worth it.
That’s what I will miss the most about the Newsroom. When you’re new on campus, with no friends, it’s hard to find someone who knows and understands you in such a short time. We became a family not because we love each other; we became a real family because we couldn’t chose anyone else and we had to deal with these weird people.
In the Newsroom, we don’t always understand why Reece, the entertainment editor, is so chill yet so edgy with endless comments. It’s ok because he listens to all of our crazy stories and brings his dog, who we love more than him anyways; We don’t understand Makayla, the news editor, at all, or her love of chickens. There was never one Paper Night when she wasn’t taking pictures of us in our “natural state,” but her weird homeschool logic was hilarious.
Debra, a staff writer, came in and made her place in our little club. She feeds us, and for that we all love her. Chocolate and coffee is the way to all of our hearts, except maybe Kendall. I will never understand the redhead power that is Autumn, editor-in-chief, and Kendall, the associate/sports editor. Their ability to pick at your rough draft layout is beyond God-like and makes you realize you’re just not going to reach their level, like ever. Kendall is blunt, especially when you talk or look at him. Be warned that he will take over the headline that you are working on. Autumn tends to be more polite than Kendall, and together they balance each other out. But advice for future students, bring headphones to class.
Kait, the photo editor, is probably the most normal. She’ll be nice to you. Just don’t mention her dead fish, either half. She does have a large amount of sticky notes in the jar, but you will definitely have a laugh when she’s around. Charlie, well, you know him when you meet him, no matter where or what he’s doing. He is just as weird as the rest of us, and he makes an effort to bring us together, be understanding, and subtly show that he’s better at writing headlines than anyone. In return, we love him, deal with his side comments, and tell him we are almost done when we barely start on our stories. I gave him a writer and editor, but he gave me this family, a major, knowledge, and guidance which led me to being where I am today.
Out of everyone’s weird quirks, we do understand that we are stuck together until at least the end of the semester, and I like to think we have a soft spot, even when we hate each other. We don’t choose our families, and neither did any of us when we joined this class. But I know none of us have regrets.
Paper Nights always mean family dinner, and family dinner means free food. So I highly suggest becoming an editor. Dinner meant sharing, and it’s where we got comfortable talking to each other about our lives. A tip for future students, just keep your hand on your face at all times. It makes it quicker to get to your nose. I’ll miss the vape breaks. It meant that the three amigos were leaving, so Reece, Makayla, and I could rant. Lastly, when Paper Night is over and everyone can leave, it brings a sense of accomplishment and urgency to get home and sleep.
I know my time is over here. I hope the next person who fills my seat understands how important this class really is and how it changes you. I learned how to deal with people when I am frustrated, the many, many hours it takes to make a paper, and how fast I can type more than 600 words. There are so many things that I can’t fit into one article. But I do want to share a life-saving tip to surviving and saving money. No matter how many opportunities you have to say something inappropriate, restrain yourself. Text your friend, and if you laugh, make sure you’re looking at your phone so you can say it was a cat video.