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Senior Column: Trust in the journey and find your destination

Photo by Daniel Kerns.

Sometimes, you know exactly what you want to do in life. This is not one of those times.

Wrapping up my time at The Scout has been bittersweet and surreal, especially considering I rarely read this paper as a freshman. I saw it on the newsstands around campus but seldom picked it up. Early into my sophomore year, however, an email came into my inbox like a tornado, permanently altering my college path.

Through a regular writing opportunity email from English Department Chair Lee Newton, I learned a crucial piece of information: The Scout was looking for new writers in the pop culture and entertainment section. As I sat around looking for something to do in between online classes and binging “Community” and “The Good Place” on Netflix, I thought to myself, “I know something about pop culture. I’m a decent enough writer. I should give that a shot.”

Little did I know that that shot would take me through countless late nights, unexpected friendships and winning an award from the Illinois College Press Association for an article with the word “anus” in the headline.

At the start, I didn’t know how the editing process worked or even what AP Style was. As an English education major, I was lost during conversations about COM professors, classes and projects. Despite all the challenges, I stuck with it because The Scout was (and still is) worth it.

It’s absolutely cliché to say at this point, but The Scout is more than just a newspaper. The friends you make in college are lasting, especially when you’re spending six or more hours together every Thursday night during the school year.

In between all the editing, the average Thursday night in the office has included writing on the quote wall, making running jokes and doing flawless impressions. Because I’ve known the other editors so well through the fun, their opinions in serious moments are ones that I value immensely.

So when then-Editor-in-Chief Angeline Schmelzer and then-Managing Editor Larry Larson asked Jonathan and I if we were interested in becoming the next Editors-in-Chief, I was pretty taken aback.

Me? Are you sure?

Thankfully, though, I wasn’t alone. Jonathan was on a similar learning curve moving over from sports, and we connected over the process of figuring out how to run a newspaper. Angeline and Larry believed in us, and their support made me realize that maybe we hadn’t been a bad choice after all.

Did I picture myself not only writing for The Scout but becoming its Co-Editor-in-Chief, when I first started at Bradley? Certainly not. Was it all perfect? Definitely not. Was it where I was meant to be? Absolutely.

To close with some gratitude, thank you to Angeline for modeling how to be a fair and dedicated Editor-in-Chief. Thank you to Larry for showing the value of Moe’s nights and Jeopardy! boards. Thank you to Jade for showing me how to balance novice and student teaching with The Scout and so much more.

To Jonathan, it’s been one hell of a ride.

To Maddy and Anaiah, you’ve already shown so much talent and I have no doubt you’ll only continue to grow. Tag, you’re it.

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The Scout is published by members of the student body of Bradley University. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the University.