Joining The Highlander newspaper has given me a multitude of opportunities and experiences that I could have never even dreamed of coming into college. When I started at UCR in 2016, I didn’t have my mind set on what I wanted to do as a profession. I figured that I would just take a bunch of different classes and whatever came of it, came of it.
But that all changed during my sophomore year at UCR. During a random Wednesday, I was walking around the Bell Tower just looking at all of the different clubs and organizations that UCR had to offer. I happened to stumble around on The Highlander newspaper table and I signed up as a photographer. I took pictures for different events on campus and after awhile, I decided that I wanted to try my hand at writing sports articles.
I never actually got around to writing my first sports article until my junior year, but once I saw my first article published in the paper, I knew that I wanted to keep writing for sports. I wrote more and more frequently and eventually, Jonathan Fernandez, the sports editor at the time, promoted me to a staff sports writer. By this time, senior staff applications were approaching and I knew that I wanted a spot on the editorial board as either the sports editor or the assistant sports editor.
When the announcement was made of the 2019-20 editorial staff, I scrolled down to see my name under the sports section as the sports editor and I became super excited. This was a big step for me and it made me realize that I could actually go into the sports industry someday as a reporter or journalist.
As the sports editor, I got to experience many things and go on many exciting adventures. At the beginning of the school year, we took a team bonding trip to Big Bear, which was one of the memorable trips that I got to go on. Another experience that I got to have was when Samuel Harrison, the opinions editor at the time, and I went to Washington, D.C. for a student journalism conference. Not only did I learn a lot about journalism from the different speakers, it was just a vibrant experience being afforded the opportunity to travel across the country to learn more about journalism. The student journalism conference at UCSD was also quite exciting as we got to learn more about different newspapers in the UC system.
I went to many different sports games at UCR and I was also able to do interviews with various athletes and coaches. I was also able to do a weekly sports podcast as well as broadcast UCR basketball games on the radio, an opportunity I would have never gotten had I not joined The Highlander newspaper.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainty of the future, I am grateful for the opportunities and experiences that I was afforded working at The Highlander. I met a myriad of wonderful people and I have seen myself grow both in terms of writing and in my other skills. To all of the other editors and members of The Highlander, I want to thank everyone for the wonderful memories and I am glad that I got to experience being involved with The Highlander as part of my college experience. Although the future remains to be seen, The Highlander has given me a stepping stone into the career industry that I want to pursue post-college and I hope to keep writing meaningful articles for others to read.
Jordan Hom was the sports editor from 2019-2020. He was previously a staff writer for the sports section in 2019 and a contributing writer from 2018-2019. He began as a contributing photographer in February 2018.