Editor's note: A 30 column is a chance for departing permanent staff to say farewell and reflect on their time spent in The Daily Texan’s basement office. The term comes from the old typesetting mark (-30-) to denote the end of a line.
Upon entering college I thought I should be a broadcast journalism major. Then I realized a week into my freshman year that I missed having a pressing newspaper deadline looming over my head, and so I applied to the University Star.
The University Star is Texas State’s newspaper. Without the Star, I never would’ve made it to the Texan. Although my dream was to attend UT since my best friend Alexis and I decided we were both Longhorns in third grade, I followed my freshman brain and the three high school folks I no longer talk with to Texas State. I cried at Bobcat orientation — obviously it wasn’t meant to be — but was luckily chosen as a news reporter a few months later by an editor named Allen who would later become a close mentor, friend and reporter for The Associated Press.
I put in my time at the Star as a news and features writer and city beat reporter. After a few weeks I earned multiple front page stories and even had an entire front page to myself once. I was happy at the Star, but my burnt orange blood couldn’t take Texas State. Declining the chance to become a Star section editor, I walked fearlessly into the Texan newsroom last summer.
The Texan ran differently, but I wasn’t scared of the little try-out process necessary to become a Texan news reporter. I knew how to write, and looking back on things, I don’t know that I would’ve made it through those tryouts without learning what I did from those at the Star.
I think what Allen taught me most was how much effort a sincere journalist puts in and how to love the long nights in the newsroom and soak up the knowledge of those around me. I learned a lot, and while some use what they learn to get an edge on the competition, I wanted to use my knowledge to give back. I wanted to be to others what Allen had been for me, and so, despite only working for the Texan two semesters, I applied for the position of news editor this spring.
I earned each position that got me where I am now, and I hope that in my job as news editor this semester I was able to be that friend and teacher to others that I so valued in my first editor. Five fall classes and an LSAT prep course keep me from continuing my work here, but I know my reporter’s addiction will start twitching soon, and that same kind of cold turkey headache I get when I haven’t had my daily coffee will continue driving my reporting addiction as I serve as an election stringer for the AP this year.
Printed on Friday, May 4, 2012: Time to say goodbye: Jillian Bliss