First, thank you for reading this issue of The JTAC. This one as it is especially dear to me, because it is my last. This semester my JTAC team and I have worked hard to deliver the best newspaper we could.
As my graduation nears and my time as Editor-in-Chief comes to a close, the feeling is very surreal. I have spent all my four and a half years at Tarleton State University with The JTAC and I cannot believe my time at Tarleton and the paper is ending.
When I decided to come to Tarleton, I did not know anyone at the university. I didn’t even tour the campus before orientation. I only decided to come here when my twin sister, Whitney, toured TSU and told me although it wasn’t a good fit for her, she felt strongly that I would love it. I am so glad I listened to her (that time)!
When I started as a Tarleton Texan in 2016, I wasn’t sure of what to be a part of here or how to make the most of my college years. During T-week I picked up a copy of the Freshman Guide (as all TSU freshman should) and saw they were hiring photographers.
Photography had always been a passion of mine and I decided to apply. Becoming a JTAC photographer helped me get involved and meet so many different people on campus through the events I was assigned to cover, like sports, campus life and the Stephenville community.
Starting college, I thought I wanted to be an environmental engineer. Since middle school Robotics I thought I knew my path without any doubt, but in my first semester I began having doubts of being an engineer. I was taking such a bid to succeed by taking the prerequisite at the same time as the course it needed. I knew going into my sophomore year that I needed to change my major. I knew engineering was not my path, but I knew I wanted to focus on the environment.
Changing my major to Environmental Science was the best decision I have ever made. I have met some of the most amazing people. I had the opportunity (thanks to my parents) to go on a life changing TSU Study Abroad trip to Southern Africa in 2019. The course included traveling to five countries – South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Namibia. Getting to visit five countries on one trip would have been amazing enough but we saw World Heritage sites (such as Soweto Township), one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World (Victoria Falls) and had the opportunity to experience seeing all of Africa’s “Big Five” (Elephant, Rhinoceros, Lion, Leopard and Cape Buffalo) in their natural environment. I also became quite good at making camp, para-sailed and sky-dived. This Study Abroad was truly an experience of a lifetime and will cherish the memories made – from driving across Africa all day to sitting by a campfire under the African sky. It was an experience I will never forget.
After being a JTAC photographer for a year and a half, the position of Photo Editor opened and I jumped at the opportunity to become more involved in the management of JTAC. I loved my time working alongside Joseph and Madison. When they graduated, I decided to apply for Editor-in-Chief. I was extremely nervous, worried about being dyslexic and the impact that would have on my ability to successfully produce a newspaper. Ideas on content and photos had come easily in my other JTAC positions, but the written word has always been a challenge and a very daunting part of my education and life experiences. I was given this amazing opportunity to grow and meet one of my biggest fears head on and daily. With the help of Alex, Francisco, and Caitlyn, I have continued to improve and with a great team, so has the JTAC.
In my final semester at Tarleton I had the privilege of staying on as Editor-in-Chief. This semester brought more change, growth, and improvements to the paper and to our entire editorial team. Jess, Eric and Cassie I have enjoyed working with y’all this semester, thank you for rolling with whatever changes I threw at you.
Although print night might not have always been the most fun on Monday nights, I’m glad I had y’all to share it with. However, I won’t miss the late nights of copy editing.
While at Tarleton I have met amazing people, starting with Ty, who I met in my Duck Camp group and who continues to be one of my dearest friends. I am so grateful for all my TSU friends and the experiences we have shared, from the highs of our annual ski trips, to the lows of getting neighbor noise complaints! For bearing with me, thank you to Alyssa, Brittainie, Kim, Mikayla, Nathan, Ty, Landon, Boone and Tyler (and many more than I can list here). I started out knowing not a single person here, I am ending with enduring friendships that will last my lifetime. I am so happy to have met Tyler, I still am ashamed it took me so long to realize you were trying to get my number in the halls of Legends! I cannot wait to see what our next adventure holds.
A special thank you to everyone at Student Publications, to The JTAC Editors I have worked with, contributors who helped make the newspaper possible and to Katherine, Caleb, Hillary and Cailtyn for always helping me with the newspaper.
For the past four and a half years I have poured my heart and soul into this paper. I hope that during my time on this team I have helped provide a newspaper that y’all have been happy to read. Each and every person I have had the pleasure of working with and interviewing will always hold a special place in my heart.
Although I did not have any experience prior to joining, was not a communication major and am dyslexic, the four and a half years here have been some of my best. I strived to help build a place where no matter your skill students felt the courage to join with our help on improving their skills.
I hope that all Texans realize there is a home that can be found in Student Publications.
I hope the legacy I helped continue will stay strong for as long as Tarleton exists.
Thank you JTAC and Tarleton for all the experiences, the growing pains, trials, tribulations and memories! I wouldn’t have had it any other way!
“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard,” Winnie the Pooh, said.