My Reporter experience

When I first applied to The Reporter, I did it against my will. I was terrified to work at an organization that held such high standards and value. My fingers trembled as I clicked the ‘send’ button on my application email, terrified to finally have a big boy job with big boy responsibilities.

Looking back, I have no clue why I was so terrified, or why I thought I was applying to the most prestigious newspaper in the country. If I had known about how much fun I was going to have working here, I would’ve applied years ago.

While I did decide to work at The Reporter to build a cute resume, a big reason behind my applying was actually my social life, or lack thereof. My group of so-called friends had up and left me in the middle of nowhere, leaving me blindsided and confused, and incredibly lonely. 

Not a single text message explaining, nor an apology for making me feel like the problem. Just grayed out profile pictures where their face used to be, and text conversations collecting dust in the alleys of my phone.

I tried to bury myself in schoolwork and extra work shifts to try to ignore the pain, but the feeling still lingered like a wart. And it wasn’t until I started working at The Reporter that I realized the true power of healthy, two-sided friendship. 

No one tells you how many hours you work as a journalist until you become one. On Mondays and Wednesdays, I was in the Reporter office late, sometimes until the small hours of the morning. Despite that, working here has never, ever felt like a job, or a chore, because of the people I work with.

If anything, it felt like an escape. School life is stressful, especially as a job-hungry senior on the cusp of graduating, and being able to walk into the office after class and de-stress was incredibly therapeutic. 

So as not to make my letter as long as others’ (Ali,) I’ll focus my gratitudes to the editorial staff. 

Julia, you’re so unfathomably rude for moving to South Dakota after graduation. How am I supposed to talk my gossip when you’re two and a half hours away? Who will I go to McDonald’s with after production nights? Or KwikTrip? 

But actually, I’m so glad I met you. You really get it. Whether it’s rap battles to Ice Spice beats or leaving to get ice cream cones for everyone to avoid writing our articles, I think about our fun production nights memories a lot.

Emma, I remember I wanted to be friends with you right away when I came to the office for the first time to write my mock article. We talked about pumpkin spice at Starbucks, and it’s been downhill ever since, but I love it. You’re like a rolodex of Internet quotes and SNL moments; whatever I quote, you already understand. I’m very thankful for that, because otherwise I’d sound more insane than I already am.

Ali! I am so glad you became sports editor and therefore irrevocably signed up for two days a week of me talking at you against your will. I loved making you laugh, and seeing you attempt (and usually succeed) at making me laugh. If I do end up leaving Mankato and moving to the cities for a job, I’ll be heartbroken that I won’t get to talk to you anymore. I guess I’ll just have to keep blackmailing you until I get a job at KEYC.

Dylan, I will forever be grateful for you showing me that video on YouTube of the turtle and the croc. I won’t get into the video details, but I think of it very frequently, and I feel like it’s become an inside joke in the office.

I didn’t think I would be this sad to leave a campus job, but the relationships I’ve built here run deep. I’m incredibly grateful for the skills this job has given me, the networks I’ve built, and the people that I can now call my friends.

Joey Erickson

(Courtesy Joey Erickson)

Write to Joey Erickson at joseph.erickson.2@mnsu.edu

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