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Texas State public relations senior Nadia Gonzales poses for a graduation photo in front of the UAC arch, April 1, 2022.

Editor’s Note: “-30-” has traditionally been used throughout journalism to indicate the end of a story. Each semester, The University Star encourages its graduating seniors to write a Senior 30 — a farewell piece to readers — indicating the conclusion of a journalist’s time as an active member of our organization.

Back in August of my freshman year, I joined The University Star just as a means to build my resume. I just wanted to show up to the meetings and put the title of “Public Relations Specialist” on my resume. I was not excited to be a part of a newspaper because at the time, working for a newspaper did not really sound cool to me. If you would have told me in high school that I would love working for a news organzation, I would have told you that you were a liar.

In high school, I wanted to be a physical therapist so I started to volunteer at my local hospital to gain experience for physical therapy school. I was a horrible writer that needed a lot of help with writing and editing my essays. So never in a million years would I have imagined that I would have fallen in love with writing.

I came into college not very assertive and shy around all the new people I met at Texas State and at The Star. So I never said a word to anyone except my section director. Once COVID-19 hit in March of 2020, I distanced myself from The Star and stopped showing up to the Zoom meetings and contributing my time to the organization. I’m honestly surprised I didn’t get fired the first year I was at The Star.

Once everyone got used to being virtual and The Star started to get things rolling again, that was when I realized that I needeed to do my job and step up in the section (lol). As I became more involved with The Star during my second year in college, it became clear to me why everyone was passionate about the work they do within the organization. It also became clear to me why working in media is so amazing.

Something within me completely changed and I started to find different and all the ways that I could play a bigger role in The Star. I was then promoted to the assistant public and internal relations director and I also became an opinions columnist. With this being said, I want to thank my section director at the time, Bianca Landry, for believing in me to take over the section once she left. I also want to thank Valeria Torrealba for not only being my very first editor in the media world, but also a good friend and colleague.

I am being so honest when I say that without The Star, I would have no passion or career aspirations. Because of the time and work that I spent and contributed to The Star, I was able to get my internships and now my future full-time job. I have learned so much during my time in this organization that I do not think I would have learned if I never would have joined. My perspective on my life and the work I want to do for the rest of my career has changed during my time here.

Before working here, I had not known what it was like to work and be around people who are like-minded to me. I never knew what it was like to work with a purpose. Being around other student journalists, editors and directors have pushed me to want to be like them and be better every day.

During my time at The Star, I also met some of my greatest friends and the best people on the planet. My friends that I met at The Star encouraged me to become a better writer, become a better leader, and also helped me during times when I was stuck. So thank you to Timia Cobb, Hannah Thompson and Sumit Nagar for always having my back and being the best support group when I needed one. I got through some of my hardest times with them as my support system, and I will forever be thankful.

I also want to take the time to thank my public and internal relations team for allowing me to be their director and for being so awesome all year long. Our events and other outreach projects would not have been possible if it weren’t for the team. I am forever so thankful for the great ideas and creativity they always brought to the table during every meeting.

The University Star has taught me how powerful students can be when they put their minds and hearts behind something that they love. Student media is important for the growth of students trying to learn and be better. I will forever support The University Star and its work and a piece of my heart will always stay with this organization.

I am proud of myself for going out of my comfort zone to become a writer and leader during my time here at Texas State. I am so grateful to have been a part of an organization that is bigger than myself, and I am proud of all the awards and milestones this organization has accomplished.

I cannot express the amount of love I have for The Star and all the people in it. I am forever grateful for the opportunities it has given me and the doors it has opened for me. The impact that The Star left on my life is so great. I am truly sad to leave this organization, but I know that its legacy will continue to live on as one of the best collegiate newspapers in Texas.

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