I still remember exactly where I was, and the excitement I felt, when I was accepted as a staff writer for The Daily Tar Heel.
While I was less enthused when I got my first story assignment — to sit through a University parking committee meeting — I was always ecstatic when I saw my byline appear on an article.
The door of my first-year dorm quickly became full of newspaper clippings with my articles, especially since we published print editions three times a week then.
But little did I know I would get to interview an astronaut and deputy director of NASA, become so invested in the politics of the Board of Trustees or be designated “lead man” for covering campus drinking water.
I also never thought I would be on the front page of the paper, let alone help direct coverage. And I definitely would have never imagined I would get to report from inside the Supreme Court of the United States with my fellow University desk-ers Liv Reilly and Ira Wilder.
While in recent months some of my reporting has seemingly been about not so great parts of campus: race discrimination allegations, lead in drinking water and accessibility issues — I truly owe a lot to UNC.
Running in the snow in the Karen Shelton Stadium, playing mini golf in the Undergraduate Library and seeing a Bernie Sanders rally then running to Memorial Hall to hear from the United Nations’ High Commissioner for Refugees are just some of the unique memories that will stay with me forever.
Plus, I got to see parts of the worlds I had only dreamed of before during my back-to-back study abroad experiences — the first time I ever traveled outside of the U.S.
But as my days checking whether the Hamilton Hall elevators are working come to a close, I am beyond thankful for the incredible opportunity I have gotten to be part of a team that cares about core journalism principles, like holding leaders accountable and uplifting underrepresented communities.