My college journey has been nothing short of an incredible adventure. From navigating the challenges of COVID-19 to diving headfirst into various clubs and even joining a fraternity, I’ve embraced every opportunity that came my way here at UCR. But amidst all these experiences, joining the newspaper was the last thing I’d thought I’d do. Writing has never been my forte, and keeping up with the latest news was never high on my list of priorities — I was afraid it would keep me up all night.

When the idea of becoming the Marketing Director for The Highlander was first brought up to me by a friend, I was hesitant. What did a business major have to do with journalism? Would I be able to handle the responsibilities the position required? I even avoided the daily news cycle to protect my mental well-being! But despite my doubts and endless worries, I submitted my staff application at 11:55 p.m. on the night it was due.

Since joining The Highlander, I’ve experienced a sense of belonging and acceptance like never before. I’ve always been somewhat reserved and socially awkward, especially in new environments or around new people. But the warm and welcoming atmosphere at the paper made me feel right at home from the moment I met everyone at my very first editorial meeting. Any worries I had about stepping into the role of Marketing Director quickly dissipated, thanks to the incredible support and kindness of my fellow coworkers. And while I initially saw this opportunity as a chance to bolster my resume, it has become so much more than that. 

Becoming the Marketing Director for The Highlander helped me in ways I never expected and in ways that my previous clubs weren’t able to. This experience has provided me with a platform to explore my creative side and contribute to something greater than myself. In the process, I also discovered strengths I never knew I had and overcame learning curves that were easier than I anticipated. 

As I look back on my time here, I’m filled with gratitude for the brief experiences shared, the new friendships forged and the invaluable lessons learned. While I may not have made a huge impact on everyone I’ve met, the community at The Highlander has undoubtedly left a lasting impression on me. As I reflect on my time here, my only regret is not joining sooner. It’s been an honor to be part of such a vibrant and lovely community. Peace out!