I was just six days into my college career when I ventured to the Carolina Coliseum for “Student Organization Tour Session 6: Music, Performance & Fine Arts, Media & Publications.”
COVID-19 pandemic precautions were still as strict as ever on that day in August 2020, and the Coliseum was being used for two things: a segmented student organization fair and COVID-19 testing.
The sixth organization fair session was what I really cared about — student media — and I remember leaving that night feeling like I had the opportunity to really make an impact in college.
These are the moments that I want to hold onto as I prepare to graduate college later this month.
Earlier this semester, I said the 2023 South Carolina football season would be one to savor, especially for seniors like me, but I was wrong. I realized throughout the semester that I should take time to appreciate every aspect of my final semester of college — my own senior season.
The Gamecocks went just 5-7 on the football field, but I was still able to take in the season in ways I had never done before. I made my first trip to the Cockpit in September, and I even covered a game for The Daily Gamecock in November.
But the times I will always cherish the most are the ones spent in student media.
I leave college with seven semesters of experience in Garnet Media Group as a leader in both The Daily Gamecock and SGTV, and it feels weird to think that my late nights in the Russell House and the Kennedy Greenhouse Studio are numbered.
I find myself staring off into space recently thinking about the long hours spent producing "Carolina Calendar" and the "Locker Room" for SGTV, or working deep into the night to finalize one of The Daily Gamecock’s print editions for this year.
I reminisce about working with two of my best friends to bring back one of SGTV's most popular shows, "Hammered with Questions," as a sophomore and helping to rework "Student News at Seven" into a full-length newscast as a senior.
I remember the weighty feeling of taking on the role of senior copy editor for The Daily Gamecock heading into my junior year — just a few weeks after I decided to join the century-old newspaper.
Those experiences feel long and tireless in the moment, but I don’t think I could ever wrap my head around how much they mean looking back. It was time spent around the best friends I made in college and time spent honing my craft as a journalist.
I worried for three years that I wasn’t “doing college right” because I was never the biggest partier and preferred to stay in watching TV or editing content.
But as I head off into the real world, I know there is no one right way to do college. I’m proud of what I have accomplished as a student and as a student journalist.
These are the days I will remember in five, 10 or 15 years and hopefully say that this was the beginning of something great.