I think the first time I thought I knew what being a journalist meant was some odd May day when 18-year-old Sam sat in a student government meeting from 6 p.m. to around 3 a.m. that morning. I had sat in that lecture hall for about eight hours with my phone in my shaking hands and my bleary eyes falling asleep as the student senate argued for eight hours. 

Eight. Hours. 

And let me be frank, I was not having a great time during those eight hours. 

It was sort of the tipping point of a semester of insane thoughts. I thought I wasn’t cut out for the job at that point. Truthfully, I wasn’t sure what I wanted at 18. I thought that one thing I knew for sure though was that I did not want to be a journalist. 

… Clearly. You can tell by me writing this that that didn’t last forever. I joined again my last semester. No one was surprised. 

sam senior 30

Texas State English senior poses for her graduation photos, Tuesday, May 2, 2023 in front of Alkek Library.

As I write this, it has been five years since that May day. I have been sitting with myself for longer than I should be on this -- wondering if I deserve to be writing one of these when I had left The Star three months before the dreadful COVID-19 hit. 

I began my Texas State career at The Star and fittingly enough, I ended it with The Star. I had always made my biggest accomplishments as a news reporter from the beginning to the end. I have put my blood, sweat and tears into my stories. I spent long hours talking with many voices that shared their stories with me in confidence that I would take care of them. I have never stopped writing. I have never stopped hoping. 

And let me tell you -- I have never been taken for granted amongst those walls of Trinity. Every effort I gave has been seen and every smile meant the world to me. 

And that’s what journalism is to me now.

To my first editors, Sandra and Sonia, thank you for seeing something in that bright-eyed freshman. You two showed me what it means to be a reporter in both practice and personality. And thank you to Nichaela, who gave me the chance to show how much I have grown. Thank you for never failing to come into our weekly meetings with the most contagious smile and the most impeccable work ethic I have ever seen. And Blake, you are going to be amazing and I am so impressed by everything you do already. I will never forget you two or the wonderful team you built. And to Krantz, thank you for making me cry at both eighteen and twenty-two with your praise. 

And lastly, to my family and friends. Thank you for always believing in me. Thank you for celebrating every byline. I give you this last one under The Star's name. I hope to give you many more in my next adventure.

Journalism is an act of civic responsibility. We see our work as a public service that is necessary for a community to thrive because knowledge is empowering. If you enjoyed this story, please consider helping us "Defend the First Amendment" by donating today!

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.