Monday, May 11, 2009

Saying Goodbye to TNH

In a couple hours, I'll be leaving my apartment to participate in my final production night ever at TNH. When I started working there 13 months ago, I never could have imagined the effect it would have on me not only as a journalist but as a person. As I prepare to say goodbye, I wanted to write out some of my thoughts here for all to see.

I resisted coming to work for TNH for a long time. I'm not sure if it was because I didn't think my writing was good enough, or if I was scared to put myself out there, of if I was intimidated by the people in charge, or what it was exactly that kept me away. I would look at the paper often times and think of many ways it could be improved, but I never actually did anything about it.

Then came my editing class, 2nd semester of junior year. A whole new world was unlocked for me in terms of what I could do as a journalist. Sitting across from me in the journalism lab was this kid named John. I had no idea at the time that he'd become one of the real movers and shakers on campus, and the person that would finally bring me into the TNH fold. Because he was taking over as executive editor, his previous job as sports editor became open. Originally intending to come to TNH as a copy editor, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to do sports. I took a chance. I dove right in.

Helping me from Day 1 was Joe. He showed me all the ropes pretty quickly, and we hit the ground running. We took TNH Sports in a great direction, putting the emphasis on clear and concise stories, interesting features, hard-hitting commentary and effective design. We had amazing reporters and photographers that made our jobs that much easier. 

Every Tuesday and Friday, Joe and I put out three or four pages of sports content and I don't think there was one time we were unsatisfied with the result. In my opinion, we had the best semester ever for TNH Sports. Because of my impeding journalism internship, I walked away in December thinking I'd worked for TNH for the last time. But because I was still living on campus, and had nothing to do besides my internship, I couldn't stay away. Two days a week I'd spend roughly 11-12 hours working at a newspaper. And I loved it, because this is what I love to do.

Part of the reason why I stayed was the people. I'll be lucky if I ever work in another office as great as this one. You can never accuse us of not having fun every Monday and Thursday night. But at the same time, the office is overpopulated with people who honestly care about putting out the best possible product. I saw the things that existed in me regarding attention to detail and putting in that extra effort reflected in so many people I worked with. 

I give a lot of the credit for this to John and Kyle. Their dedication to the finished product trickled down to everybody, and resulted in the many hard-earned awards our organization won a few weeks ago. The best part is I know that isn't going away anytime soon because Cam, Nate, Keeley and everyone else possesses that same desire.

This is getting long so I'll try to wrap this up. I'm part of a generation of young journalists who has no idea how they're going to make money in this industry going forward. But the things I've learned by working for a forward-thinking college newspaper have been invaluable, and I'll use them for the rest of my life. I've forged lifelong friendships there, and hopefully, along with John, Joe and Kyle, we've left something behind for future TNHers to follow.

My last word of advice: don't hesitate to take that chance and dive right in. I'm sure glad I did.

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