COLUMN: Never be afraid to take the next step — at anything in life
Well, this is it: my farewell column.
I didn’t think it would come this quickly. It seems like it was just yesterday I was the scared freshman who nervously stepped into the Central Michigan Life office for the first time in Summer 2014.
But it’s a step I’m glad I took. I would do anything to take that step again — to relive the past four years.
Being hired to work here was an unexpected dream come true. I remember the first story I ever wrote as a freshman — a profile on the club bass fishing team. The headline was “Reel Teamwork.” It was on the back page above the classifieds on the good ole’ broadsheet days of CM Life.
I didn’t want to belong on the back page above the housing ads and Sudoku. I wanted to move up.
I kept working. I spent a lot of time on the fourth floor of Moore Hall, even though every upperclassman and editor scared the hell out of me. I found myself being a part of the resignation coverage of former football coach Dan Enos as a freshman — running around campus canvassing students hoping to get further ahead in the paper.
That was a signature moment in my CM Life career. It showed me I can do anything I wanted to if I just decided to not be afraid and take the next step.
This job has brought me some of the best memories I’ll ever have and has given me the full collegiate journalistic experience. I was on the volleyball beat when the head coach was placed on paid administrative leave and eventually resigned. I have interviewed President George Ross, head football coach John Bonamego and other high-profile people on this campus.
CM Life has taken me from the Mid-American Conference Tournament in Cleveland to the first women’s basketball Sweet 16 appearance in Spokane, Washington. I covered the university’s two-year, $20 million budget deficit when it was announced last year and was on campus covering perhaps the darkest day in university history on March 2 after a double homicide in Campbell Hall.
Using the power of the Freedom of Information Act, I also broke news that the university paid its College of Humanities and Social and Behavioral Sciences dean nearly $300,000 to leave and the dean of University Libraries being fired after Central Michigan University received multiple sexual harassment complaints.
I am proud of the work I have done. I believe I helped CM Life continue its long tradition of strong journalism — 100 years next year. There are things I wish I could have done more, but I am leaving with no regrets.
Thank you to all the people I have interviewed in my four years. I appreciate your time and I hope I was fair and accurate in my storytelling.
Thank you to the ever-loyal CM Life audience for taking time to read my work and for your feedback — good or bad — over the past four years. I hope I helped you learn a little bit more about CMU and the surrounding community.
Thank you to my first and most supportive readers: Mom and Dad. I love you. I hope I made you proud.
Lastly, thanks to everyone at CM Life for taking a chance on a kid whose high school journalistic achievement was “Top 5/Worst 5 School Lunches.” Thank you to all my editors and reporters, and adviser Dave Clark for your guidance. The best part about waking up every day was to drive to work and create a paper with my best friends. I will miss spending my days on the fourth floor of Moore Hall, but I am grateful and blessed to have worked at this publication.
I am taking the next step in this wonderful thing called life by interning with MLive/Jackson Citizen Patriot. I’m excited for the opportunity, but there’s no doubt that I will miss CMU and CM Life.
My one request to all the readers of this great publication is this: continue reading CM Life. Whether you’re picking up the print piece on Mondays and Thursdays or reading online, I and the others who have dedicated a lot of their college experience here appreciate your continued readership. As CM Life celebrates its 100th year in 2019, the new staff will continue to tell the stories of this university and community and keep you in the loop. Always remember this paper serves you.
My final word of advice is this: Never be afraid to take that next step — at anything in life. No matter how nervous you may be, put your foot on the ground and walk right in.
I promise you won’t regret it.