I am currently headed into my senior year at Cal Poly. Over these past three years I’ve worn many hats: student, barista, research assistant, sales associate, intern. Trust me when I say I’ve run through the laundry list of possible part time jobs.
In September 2021 – the start of my sophomore year, freshly post-pandemic – I volunteered to be a WOW leader at the same time I joined Mustang News. This was largely in an effort to be involved and get to know our campus. It was up to my roommate and I to show thirty freshmen around SLO, talk about the wonders of life at Cal Poly and most importantly demonstrate to them that college is a navigable experience. Did I have much credibility in guiding freshmen to their future classes when I hadn’t even stepped foot in Graphic Arts, home of the very newsroom where I now spend the majority of my time?
No, but I did it anyway. How else could I learn if not by being uncomfortable?
As Editor-in-Chief of Mustang News this school year, it’s evident I found my way to a vocation I love. Where I am today took a lot of trial and error – and I’ve never felt such nostalgia for that first quarter of in-person “learn by doing.”
Volunteering for WOW didn’t change just my sleep schedule, but it also forced me to set aside a lot of pride in behaving like I know it all. So, when I walked into my first Mustang News meeting and met peers who had reported for their hometown papers in high school and were already applying for internships, I realized that being uncomfortable was going to be my new normal.
But I loved reporting so much, I decided to keep doing uncomfortable things. I write to you now as someone who’s sat beside 19 veterans while in flight on a World War II jet, spent hours parsing through legal documents and calling state prisons, spoken with congressmen and attended a ‘Hypnotherapy 101’ class – all while wearing my favorite hat: a reporter.
College is uncomfortable. Student reporters might be some of the most well versed in this subject, because we want to share real experiences with no censorship. My time reporting and now editing for student media has shown me time and time again that we can make it through the toughest of times, because we can withstand discomfort.
Mustang News is here to bring our readers closer together through stories that demonstrate the reality of our world. Whether you pick up our print issue every month or have only read our rather extensive St.Fratty’s coverage, we are happy to continue reporting on and sharing the SLO experience.
As you mind your own business grabbing Starbucks at the UU, know that you may be approached at some point by a Mustang News reporter, phone in hand to record a quick statement. We do so with the hope of highlighting student voices; to show the bounty of stories this community has to offer and to do it in the most honest possible way.
From mechanical engineering to wine and viticulture, each student at Cal Poly faces their own set of challenges. Our uniting factor is the goal of wearing that green cap and gown down the center of Spanos Stadium.
We know the trek to graduation is hard – we’re here to tell your journey, discomfort and all.
Find us online at Mustangnews.net, on your radio at KCPR 91.3 FM or worldwide on KCPR.org. Thank you for continuing to read, watch and listen to our coverage.