Moving from the 'Future' to the future
Published: Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, April 27, 2011 13:04
It's a lifelong cliché: just when you start getting comfortable with something, it's time to leave.
The past nine months have been, for lack of a better word, experimental. I've done a variety of things in my life, all of which were pretty experimental in and of themselves. I've been with the Future for quite some time — first as photographer, then photo editor and now Editor-in-chief. Even before all of that, I worked with the military.
I wouldn't have stuck around the Future if it weren't a great place to work and gain experience. I think every UCF student should have the opportunity to contribute, which has been something that I've pushed during my time here.
So, I guess this is the good-bye column where I talk about how I got here and what I've done.
I had a few goals when I came in: redesign the website, expand contributions from non-journalism majors (being a history major, this is important to me) and create some kind of an iPhone application that would be free of charge. I thought that if I could at least accomplished those, I would be pretty happy.
All of those goals were successfully met and I'm proud to at least leave some sort of a legacy behind.
I highly underestimated what it would take to actually get started on doing enjoyable things at the Future. The first semester turned out to be a trial run, where I got a feel for what it was like to create the Future and make the connections necessary to be an effective student journalist.
Over time, I found out how important it is as an editor to keep in touch with your creative side. It's important to bring that out during slow news weeks, where story ideas are the most valuable commodity to be found.
Twenty-two out of the 23 years that I've been alive have, in some way, been involved with the military. I've learned a lot about leadership from that institution, but one of the most challenging things I've ever had to do was lead a student newspaper staff.
I don't think I've ever criticized myself more than I have in the past year, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I pride myself on making mistakes and taking away a lesson or two.
I learned more than one thing from this year, but at the root of all of those lessons is how young and inexperienced I am. Leaders in an office come and go, but the leadership taken away from one is forever.
I'll definitely be taking away leadership lessons from the Future, but what makes the office such a unique place is the combination of a laid-back and serious atmosphere.
I've seen some of the most awkward and tense situations of my life in the office; then again, I've also seen some of the most heartwarming ones, as well.
To be sure, it's just an office, but people are complicated. It makes me happy when people bring their complications with them, because that means that we had to work through them together.
So in summation: leadership and pride. I'm honored to have been part of the Future staff and couldn't imagine a greater college job. I was continually impressed by how proud the entire staff was with the publication, even if it at times it wasn't all that impressive.
Nine people have run the Future for the past nine months. It's a little hard to believe, but somehow, we pulled it off.
This probably wasn't the most heartwarming or impressive column that you've read, but that's the point. I've gotten pretty used to sitting at this desk and typing out my stories, but it's time to head out.