COLUMN: After four years, I finally know what it means to be tenacious

With my Central Michigan Life application in one hand, camera bag in the other and new backpack strapped high on my shoulders, I walked out of Merrill Hall at 7:30 a.m. on the first day of my freshman year.

After climbing the three flights of stairs to the fourth floor of Moore Hall, I gave my application to someone in the CM Life office and took a seat outside of my classroom with a few other students already waiting.

At 8:03, the instructor came out into the hallway and said he couldn’t believe none of us tried to open the door. When we got into the classroom, he continued by saying if we wanted to be journalists, we needed tenacity and clearly none of us were tenacious if we couldn’t even try to open the door.

I spent the rest of the day terrified all of college would be that way. By the time 8 a.m. on Wednesday rolled around, I made sure to be inside the classroom. The instructor told us that after telling the story to his family, they told him he needed to apologize to us all.

Although I knew the definition, I didn’t know what it meant to be tenacious. Now, thanks to four years at CMU, I finally do.

Throughout my time here, I have seen faculty, staff and administrators we students love get laid off while President Bob Davies received a raise that is more than some professors make in a year. The programming and classes that influenced my choice of CMU, are gone.

Since I joined CM Life, I have closely covered the university and have seen how tone-deaf the administration really is. As a senior about to graduate, I am able to conclude that CMU is an awful university. The administration only cares about profit and marketing, not students.

The Department of Journalism has been in shambles since June 2020 and no one in the administration seems to care.

When our media law instructor was forced into retirement, he was replaced with a real estate lawyer that has recieved multiple complaints from students.

Eight months later, when they put the CM Life adviser on administrative leave, nobody made an effort to help us do our jobs.

Regardless of all the lack of compassion shown from the university, I do believe CMU was the right decision for me. I have learned how to deal with many curve balls, how to properly use the Freedom of Information Act and developed a deep love for uncovering the truth. CMU has also given me some amazing articles for my portfolio, much to their chagrin. 

In addition to my professional growth, my time at CMU has made me grow as a person and has given me some of my best friends, most of whom I met through bonding about hating the university.

Every time I considered transferring throughout the past four years, CM Life was the one constant thing keeping me at CMU. My support system may have changed to new a combination of coworkers every year, but I wouldn’t have made through without all of them.

For the past four years, every time I needed someone I could go into the CM Life office and talk to anyone else in the room. 

Now, as I pack up my apartment and desk at CM Life, I have the newsroom to thank for the person and journalist I am today. 

When I unpack my AP Style Guide and crisp new reporters notebooks, it will be at a desk 1,300 miles away at the Beaumont Enterprise.

As an 18-year-old, the 130 mile move from Kalamazoo to Mount Pleasant was terrifying but I knew it would help me grow as a person. Now, as I’m leaving even more friends behind to move to Beaumont, Texas, I know they will all just be a phone call away.

With my newly realized tenacity in on hand, my CMU diploma in the other and my fellow CM Lifers behind me, I am ready to start my new journey.