The bittersweet ending of my college career

By Multimedia Reporter

If someone told me a few years ago that I would be preparing to graduate from Columbia now, I would not have believed them. I did not even know I would attend Columbia until I discovered my interest in journalism during my senior year of high school. Still, walking through Columbia’s doors was surreal to me, especially since I grew up on the South Side of Chicago and lived there my entire life. Downtown Chicago’s peaceful and relaxing atmosphere alone was enough to show me I was in a new environment.

I remember sitting in my first class at Columbia when the professor asked students where they were from. My classmates were saying places like China and New York. Right then and there, I knew I was in a totally different world, but I was excited to start anew.

I was eager to take on this new challenge that was college, so I met with journalism professor Jeff Lyon, whom I credit with the start of my journalism career. Lyon was not only a professor but an adviser to The Columbia Chronicle. He placed me into his “College Newspaper Workshop” course, which allowed students to be contributing writers for The Chronicle. That was when my life changed forever.

I remember stepping into a newsroom for the first time and seeing student reporters running around, making phone calls and scrambling to meet deadlines. It was an amazing sight, but it made me wonder what I got myself into. However, for the next couple of months, I excelled in the course and was even published in The Chronicle’s newspaper and website under the Sports & Health and Arts & Culture sections. This success gave me the confidence to practice reporting skills for print as well as move forward in the field of broadcast journalism.

Looking back, I’ve realized that each year was new to me because I pushed myself to learn about the craft of journalism, whether it was reporting on politics or arts to learning video editing. There were moments when I was scared, but I had many people pushing me, encouraging me to try new things. Trying new things in journalism allowed me to meet and interview many great people. 

One of the many things I will take away from these four years is to never get too high or too low because there will always be seasons of major success, and there will always be moments of failure. However, pushing through will cause you to become more than you ever dreamed of. I never would have imagined being where I am today, but I pushed through and didn’t let fear take hold of me. Taking risks and pushing through has allowed me to produce for multiple media outlets such as Metro Minutes, Newsbeat and even, bittersweetly, The Columbia Chronicle, where I am about to end my college journalism career where it began.