Wait… a news reporter gets to write a column?

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-30- column

Katrina Tollin began at The Daily Texan in January 2011 as a general reporter. She graduated in May and stayed with the paper over the summer, covering the city as a senior reporter.

Photo Credit: Allen Otto | Daily Texan Staff

Editor’s note — A 30 column is a chance for departing permanent staff to say farewell and reflect on their time spent in the Texan’s basement office. The term comes from the old typesetting mark (-30-) to denote the end of a line.

Graduation came and went, but I managed a few more months in the basement of the Texas Student Media building, working as the Texan's city reporter over the summer.

I started at the paper only a month after losing my mother to cancer. After seeing her dreams for the future cut short, I came back to school to focus my energies on reporting and through it, came out much stronger — both as an individual and as a journalist.

Seeing someone so close to me lose the chance to follow dreams they had was intensely impactful. I stopped feeling like anxiety, depression or lethargy was a good-enough excuse for postponing anything. I became driven to pursue what I came to UT to do.

It's so important to realize what you want and damn the fear between you and your goal. It's difficult, because I feel we are too often pushed toward accepting mediocrity and don't take responsibility for the end result.

I love the novelty of learning something new every day and meeting people you would normally never speak to. That's one thing that makes reporting so special.

While not every story has been as engaging as others — not every day is either — the opportunity to cover those stories that really speak to you make it worthwhile so many times over.

Being involved and contributing to the history of the Texan was a significant experience. Working with the amazing staff of talented writers, editors and creative people has added so much to my time at UT, and I believe we all have bright futures ahead of us.

I sincerely thank my editors who have helped me develop as a writer, as well as the entire Texan staff, working tirelessly to produce every issue and every story to make The Daily Texan the amazing publication it is.

My time here has opened my eyes and showed me a much deeper understanding of Austin, the University and myself. It's a righteous experience and an elite field, and you work for it one inch and deadline at a time.

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