Senior Letter

Kelleigh Hogan, Editor-in-Chief

I’ll admit it. I thought that writing this would be easy. I guess that I have kind of been thinking about it since the seniors in my freshman year published their letters. However, now that I have one day of high school left, five days until I walk across the stage and get my proxy diploma, and 81 days until I head to the other side of the country, it seems impossible. I cannot possibly say goodbye one of the few constants of my high school experience and by far one of the most impactful.

Journalism has changed me in a way that words cannot possibly describe (which is kind of ironic for a journalist to admit), and even though I am not pursuing a career in journalism, its influence will always be a part of me.

The most obvious way that journalism has impacted me is its influence on my writing. I entered journalism incorrectly thinking my writing was already fully developed. Let me tell you: I was wrong. The rapid influx of edits on my first article proved that to me, and at first, I was discouraged. However, that was the best part about journalism: it taught me how to honestly evaluate my work and pushed me to work harder. Thanks to journalism, my writing ability has been developed and polished into a writing style that I am proud of and that I have used in English classes, professional writings, and college admissions. I credit journalism with the strong writing voice that I have today.

Yet, the less assumed (but definitely more important) way that journalism has impacted me is how it shaped me into the person I am today. When I first arrived to the first class of journalism, I was painfully shy to the point that I could not talk to anyone. However, the pure interactive nature of the class and the leadership positions that I was put in brought me out of this shy exterior, increasing my confidence and allowing me to truly reveal my personality. It was Britt and my fellow other students in journalism throughout all four years that taught me how to be assertive, honest, and – at some level – tough (though this was seemingly impossible).

The final thank-you I have for journalism is the opportunity it gave me to attend the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication’s Summer Journalism Institute, which truly changed my life. It was my coming-of-age moment when I certainly left my comfort zone and, because of that, grew up. And again, although I am not pursuing journalism, it is this experience that allows me to feel comfortable with the idea of shipping off to college. Without that experience, I do not think that I would be going so far away for college and would be missing out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

But enough about me. I am so incredibly proud of the people that have walked through the door to Britt’s room and know that the paper is going to flourish. I want to simply say thank you to all the people who have been a part of my journalism experience and say that I cannot wait to see all the incredible things that the paper and its people will do!

Thank you and until later,

Kelleigh Hogan