I remember when I was first starting out. I felt absolutely lost. But, I think that’s just how it goes sometimes. It takes a little while, but I think I figured it out, most of it anyways.
When I first started the major, I knew journalism was where I wanted to be, especially print. Day one of my Introduction to Multimedia Journalism class with William ‘Bill’ Huntzicker gave me enough insight as to what I might be getting myself into with this sequence.
It was in his class that I began learning the ins and outs of traditional journalism. Overall, my skill as a student journalist wouldn’t be where it is today without that class, and those that followed.
What really helped and hurt was getting my first few stories back from Bill. They had red markings everywhere. Getting the stories back with the markings was a difficult pill to swallow, but it was exactly what I needed at the time.
Aside from learning the journalism basics and need-to-know for an introductory class, I learned what this field demands. I also learned that if I didn’t start getting experience, my chances of becoming a reporter out of school were slim to none.
I was working two jobs at the time, plus a full-time schedule—not to mention trying to keep up with friends and relationships. With all that on my plate, I didn’t think I could take on more. I had all this anxiety about getting involved with the University Chronicle.
I went down to the office a few times, but backed out. I didn’t want to commit to anything, because I didn’t want to fall through; I didn’t want to disappoint.
So, I kept hitting the books and working my jobs, until I told myself to snap out of it and get going. If I wanted a shot, I needed to take it.
I walked in, sat at the long table and listened in on my first huddle. It didn’t go much further than that though, because I wasn’t sure what to pick up or how to get started.
By this time, it was nearing the end of spring semester. I felt my time was running short, so when Huskypalooza was brought up, I hopped on it.
Committing to those first few stories was one of the best things I could’ve done while at college. Those stories weren’t going to win awards or land me a job at a newspaper, but it was something I wanted to do—even a little scared to do—that I pushed myself to do.
It was a goal of mine that I came to achieve. That was an incredible feeling.
The semester ended a few weeks later, and it wasn’t until my junior year that I began putting in work at the paper.
It seemed like one of the best times to jump on board and help out in any way that I could, and that’s exactly what I set out to do. I didn’t want to follow my footsteps from the year before. I wanted to hit the ground running, I wanted the experience, and I wanted to see where I fit in all of this.
Although I wasn’t totally sure what would come of my work at the Chronicle, I loved the idea of belonging to something.
I moved from a staff writer to an assistant news editor position that year. Things moved fast, and we built a solid team fall semester. Everybody who came to huddles regularly made a significant difference in the organization, offering their ideas for direction. People wanted to move forward.
Being a part of that was fantastic. Eventually we had this team that felt so in sync with one another that when it came time for the grueling Sunday layout, we knew we would be fine, no matter how late we needed to stay up copy editing or writing last-minute stories.
All of the stress, the frustration and worry was worth it at the end of the day when we could turn to one another and laugh at all the craziness that flowed through the newsroom over the last few hours.
We saw a lot of that this year too. Fall semester was absolutely hectic, because we had so many people entering new positions, myself included, who needed to figure it out with everything else going on. Luckily, we managed to get our feet underneath of us in time to produce fantastic content and outstanding journalism.
New faces came through and made a home in the newsroom this year, and I’m so grateful to have been a part of that. It’s been rewarding in so many ways to be a part of a team that works harder than anybody I’ve ever met. I’m thankful to say I’ve been a part of a team that is constantly thinking of ways to meet our goals, to continue pushing forward to find solutions, especially when the odds seem against us.
My time at the University Chronicle did not come without its challenges. It was taxing, sometimes feeling more like a “job” than an extracurricular activity. But, it was the times we could step back from a long day at the office and appreciate all of the hard work we put into something that we genuinely cared about.
My time and experiences at the University Chronicle are invaluable. I’m honored to have worked with these people and to have accomplished as much as we did. I’ll take these memories with me for as long as I can.
I did what I could while I was the editor-in-chief at the University Chronicle, and I’m proud of what we accomplished. I’m excited to see what happens next year, and the years that follow.
Thank you for letting me serve as the editor-in-chief of this great paper.
All the best,
Alec R. Kasper-Olson