Serving the Tarrant County College District

The Collegian

Serving the Tarrant County College District

The Collegian

Serving the Tarrant County College District

The Collegian

Leadership is not going to be perfect on first attempt

VIEWPOINT

In 2022 my first published story at The Collegian was an opinion piece. It seems almost fitting that I end things two years later right back where I started.

Back then, I was an 18-year-old high school graduate with all the gal and confidence of a freshly turned student reporter. Today, at almost 20 years old, I write to you as the editor-in-chief of The Collegian. I can tell you now, nothing has quite taught me lessons like being a newsroom leader has.

My biggest lesson learned is that becoming a leader is to be forged like iron.

I would have been entirely lost if I did not do my research, attend leadership workshops and ask a million questions leading up to the first production day. However, practice made the difference.

You are not going to get it right the first time. Maybe even the second or third. One of the biggest goals of leadership, I have come to understand, is to learn. Stagnancy gets nothing done. You are wrought by the experience leadership gives you. There is discomfort, pressure and intensity that comes with it but that is better than refusing to grow.

Nobody is perfect, and I am not the best there ever was. I have made my mistakes, stumbled and thought over and over about what I could have done differently. Unfortunately, that never stops. As it turns out, when you’ve spent the day thinking about those mistakes, you can just go to bed and conjure up dreams about it to fill the time.

However, all that strife can lead to the most rewarding experience when you use what you have learned to be better for your team.

I am in awe of the success The Collegian has brought for themselves. National and statewide awards become the physical representation of just how talented the staff is, and it was a constant reminder that I wanted to be someone they could also be proud of.

You are sharpened and strengthened by the day, and that is fulfilling. The start can seem like hellfire, but I look at where I am now, and I am all the wiser.

I feel more confident, I understand a little more what power is and the responsibility to not just The Collegian and the TCC community, but to myself. I practiced balance and flexibility in the pillars of my life.

This job is not easy. It is true that you never really know what it’s like until you are standing in front of the entirety of staff on a production day as everyone stares expectantly at you. The final decision stress is palpable.

Feelings of fear, distress and anxiety are going to be a part of the work. However, I don’t think I have ever felt more confident in the decisions I make now and the things I believe in. Being tested so much really does afford a newfound sense of confidence, if at least a little bit.

To those who might be moving on to a position of leadership, know that you can and should accept the help that is offered. The guidance and support make the bad days easier, and it’s important you let people know that just as you can be a crutch, they can help hold you up too.

Take every day as it comes. It goes by fast, so don’t let any of it go to waste because one day – like I am now – you’ll look back on where you started and know that you came out of it with a few cool scars and many good memories.

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