With less than a month left, I have been doing quite a lot of reflecting on my past four years at this wonderful institution many of us call home. My time in Fredonia has taught me so much about not only my studies but also life in general.
I believe that a few important shout-outs are necessary before I leave Fredonia.
My first shout-out has to go to the community of this university. Fredonia is such a welcoming and accommodating place. Some of the nicest, kindest and most interesting people I have met, I met during my time here at Fredonia. Before I came here, I never imagined that I would become so connected to my university.
Fredonia also deserves some serious recognition for their dedication toward promoting intellectual discussion and not silencing opposing views. As a conservative, I had always worried before I came to college that I would experience some of the horror stories we have seen of universities discriminating against conservatives. Fredonia has made it their goal to seriously defy that kind of attitude, and never have I experienced repercussions for my conservative beliefs.
Another important shout-out goes to the Fredonia Mock Trial team, which was really the first club that I got involved in. Mock Trial helped me learn how to think on my feet and create or answer tough questions to present my case. It also taught me how important research and preparation is with any presentation you give.
The Fredonia Student Association is another organization that I believe deserves a shout-out for making me the person that I am today.
One huge lesson I learned in SA is how to work together with people that have different views than mine. As a journalist, I must be able to see all different kinds of perspectives, and SA really helped me see different kinds of perspectives.
Also, SA taught me the importance of public speaking. It taught me that, to get my message across effectively, I would need to be able to persuade others with these valuable skills.
I think my most important shout-out, though, has to go to this wonderful paper that many of us call a family.
After I lost my campaign for SA president, I didn’t think that there was any chance for me to be in charge of an important organization, but The Leader proved me wrong. I was blessed with the opportunity to be the paper’s Managing Editor this year.
The Leader, since the day I started writing for them, has opened their arms to welcome me. I mean, they even allowed me to have my own column called “The Conservative Corner” and have allowed me to have basically complete control over the content I covered and how I covered it. In fact, they loved to see that kind of diversity of opinion introduced into the paper. Not many young conservative writers have experienced this kind of acceptance at their college papers.
One personal, final shout-out has to go to Colin Perry, our editor in chief, who has been my mentor since he was News Editor and I became his assistant last year. Colin has taught me so much about being a leader and a journalist, and I am forever grateful for the guidance that he has provided me. Everything that I know as an editor is because of the excellent leadership and education that he has provided me with.
He has taught me the importance of being accommodating to your writers, but not too accommodating to the point that they take advantage of your kindness. He has taught me how to not be so one-sided and to see multiple perspectives in every story.
Most importantly, Colin has taught me how to be patient with a controversial story and make sure that I talk to necessary people. Whenever I find out a juicy story, I am very quick to want to write it up and publish it, but Colin has made sure that I don’t let this interest affect our paper’s reporting.
I have never seen a person so dedicated to helping people grow as writers as Colin, and I wish him the best in his future endeavors.
Thanks for everything, Fredonia. It’s been quite a journey here for the last four years.