This is my last first day of school

Today is the last first day of school for me. It is bittersweet for me as I enter my third year of college which was gone in a wink. From graduating in the middle of an unknown pandemic that took over the world. To entering college during COVID, meeting my peers in masks, and entering my first job at The Reporter, my freshman year  was anything but regular. Not to mention my last year was my first football and hockey games along with in-person events. Now being able to finally experience a (mostly) normal year, it sadly is also my last.

Going into my senior year at MSU I’ve gotten to meet so many interesting people. Being a journalist at The Reporter provided me with the opportunity to get to know my new community at MSU more than the average freshman. Interviewing interesting people with unique stories is how I got to know the campus, it was my job to talk to people in such an isolated time. My job became telling my peers in the community what was going on. From protests and demonstrations, to investigative research, there was no lack of newsworthy events during the distant COVID years.

Along with that I met some of my best friends through the college newspaper. From my old high school friend becoming my boss , to following in his footsteps and taking his role as he graduated. “It’s a small world” is all I have to say about that. As for my new co-workers I am super excited to see what we are able to accomplish in the next year. I believe The Reporter has grown tremendously since I started back in 2020. Expanding our multimedia presence is the next step for us and is the most exciting part for me. Broadcast journalism is something I’ve been interested in since I anchored the morning show at my high school. This summer I had the opportunity to visit KELOLAND in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. This was my first visit to a news station that visit really reassured my confidence in pursuing a career path in journalism.

Having to think about what is next in my career is something I’ve been dreading and something I never had to really consider before. Every year has been the same, school year after school year. I’m excited to see where I go next, but remembering to savor every last day as a student. To late nights up at the office, to attending sporting events, and soaking the lively energy of the first week of school. This is my last first day. 

Write to Julia Barton at

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