To start off, I want to make it known that I am currently writing this article the night before it is due with a glass of wine and french fries. That sentence alone is the best description I can give on my college experience. In all seriousness, it seems almost surreal to me that I am actually at the point of graduation. You may be asking yourself how did the mess I just described in the first sentence actually manage to graduate. I am honestly asking myself the same thing, but I think it has something to do with some of the amazing people I have come to know.
Let me talk a little about the Prairie. I have been a member of the Prairie for all of the two years I have been at WTAMU. I started my first semester as a practicum student. Within my first day at the Prairie I met two people that are a huge part of my life at the newspaper, Savannah and Alyssa. Together we created, in my opinion, some of the greatest content on the internet (insert sarcasm). Doing It for The Grade was our masterpiece of a podcast that was created out of pure need to get our required 10 projects. These podcasts would turn out to be some of the funniest things I did my first semester. We couldn’t ever get through one episode without laughing. We had so much fun making these, and they actually turned out pretty great. We talked about things we genuinely thought college students could benefit from. Looking back on those times, I am so proud of how far all three of us have come. Alyssa and Savannah are two of the smartest and kindest people I have ever met.
My second semester at the Prairie I became a reporter. It was a really exciting moment for me to have my work noticed and to move up in the Prairie. Being on the senior staff definitely came with its ups and downs. The downs include InDesign, bailing sources, late stories and lost photos. The good was writing one of my biggest articles ever, eventually learning layout, going to TIPA and meeting Allie Smith and Tova Kibal. The best way I can describe Allie is a personality larger than life. You know when Allie is in a room. She quickly became someone I spent the majority of my semester with. From random wine nights to her forcing me to watch “Harry Potter” and getting me addicted. My times with Allie are hands down my favorite memories of WTAMU ever. Tova continues to be one of my best friends today. She has taught me so much about what it means to truly be myself. She helped me discover that happiness isn’t a destination. In life it is easy to convince yourself that you will be happy once you graduate or once you get a job. However, happiness isn’t obtained through obtaining things, it is something you have to find in yourself.
Through my time at the Prairie I have learned so many things that I will carry with me forever. The first thing is that the AP style book is your bible. Read it, know it and preach it. The second thing is that you are you biggest critic. If I was ever not proud of a story, I knew it wasn’t done. I learned to strive for every one of my stories to be better than the last. The third thing that I have learned is that the process is more important than the pace. In an environment like the Prairie you are constantly on go mode. Working to find your story and meet deadlines. It is easy to get wrapped up in getting things done and getting to the end. I have learned that even though deadlines and everything else is important, it is also just as important to stop every so often to capture the moments. We never know how important those little moments are in life until we have passed them. It is important to take the time to recognize the significance of every day we have. Take the time to talk to that friend, have a laugh and create a memory because that time is going to come to an end eventually and you are gonna miss it. Through working at the Prairie, I have made some of the best memories with the best people I know, and I honestly hate seeing that part of my life closing. However, I have had a good run and I know that they are going to continue to absolutely kill it.
Now I am off to mail my graduation invitations that have been sitting on my table for the past month because I have managed to procrastinate doing that until a month before I graduate. Cheers to the future! I’ll end this little trip down memory lane with a quote from the great Ronald Weasley, “You’re gonna suffer…but you’re gonna be happy about it.” Credit to J.K. Rowling.
P.S. I want to give a special thanks to all of the past and present Prairie staff, Dr. Garcia, my family, my boss Deidre Dixon, my friend Nina and Dr. Pepper.