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Finding a family at Missouri Western

Yesterday, I began my final semester at Missouri Western State University.

It’s truly incredible how time flies. I remember my very first class, Psychology – how nervous I was. I remember not knowing what I wanted to major in – not knowing what I would devote myself to during my time here.

It was when I first stepped into the newsroom my sophomore year that something happened: I found a place to call home.

I saw dedicated people working to find the truth, working to entertain and somehow managing to keep a smile on their faces for everyone who walked by, despite the fact that each one of these dedicated individuals seemed to be running solely off of caffeine and the positive reinforcement of their coworkers.

I saw individuals with different opinions put aside their petty differences in order to produce a newspaper that they could be proud of, despite the fact that most people on campus wouldn’t even glance at the newsstand the next day.

I saw no drama, no gossip and no hatred towards another writer.

I only saw support.

And to this day, I’ve seen and felt nothing but support from every member of the staff, no matter how often that staff continues to change from semester to semester. From day to day, it’s always encouraging to see a smile on our advisor, Dr. Bob Bergland’s face, or to see a staff writer pitch an idea to an editor, only to have that editor reply, “Of course you can do that! That’s a freakin’ awesome idea!”

And now, after two and a half years, I’m the editor-in-chief. So what does that mean? Well, to be honest, in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t mean much.

The reason? Because no matter who leads this paper, no matter who calls the shots, it’s never about one person. It never has been.

I would be absolutely nowhere without every friend that I’ve made in and out of this newsroom. Without them, I’d still be that antisocial guy who may or may not have been addicted to video games. It’s because of my friends – the people that I’ve met throughout my time here at Missouri Western – that I’m here, which is why this isn’t my paper. It’s ours.

A lot has happened in two and a half years – some of it good, some of it not so good. But, by far, one of the greatest things to happen to me has to be this – this right here. Because of this newsroom, I became someone. I suddenly had a voice and a purpose. And now I have friends who want nothing but the best for each other and for this newspaper. We share in each other’s successes and cover for our individual flaws.

In the end, I came to this newsroom looking for experience. I didn’t expect to find a family.

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