Mentors hard to come by
Published 1:14 pm Monday, March 13, 2006
There are a few things in life that are expected and among those are the entrances and exits of people who influence your life in some way or another. But only a few stick with you for the rest of your life.
There are the handful of people from high school and grade school you still keep in touch with, the few people from odd jobs you play phone tag with and in my case a particular college professor whose words I will keep with me for the rest of my life, or the lessons I have been taught by one of the strongest mentors I have had in my life.
I will never forget what one of my professors told me in a private conference one sunny afternoon. He told me I would never make it in the journalism field because I was too picky, too snobby and my attitude would turn people away, among other things. I took his words really hard.
However, every time I thought I couldn't do something those words would ring in the back of my head and it would push me to do my best. Now, here I am nearly two years out of college and I'm already the editor of a newspaper. I find it ironic that I'm taking the same career path as the man who said I wouldn't make it.
I began to doubt myself this week and my professor's words began to haunt me again. But, it took someone stronger for me to realize I'm better than that. It was this week without my mentor that I realized I can do this job. I've been putting everything she has nailed into my head for the past year into the paper.
It's all slowly unfolding – all those countless hours I spent next to her in a straight chair watching her put the paper together, coming up with headlines and having a great laugh about the funny ones we wanted to use but couldn't, even just sitting in the office talking about my crazy life.
It wasn't all fun and games though. A lot of hard work was had and a few harsh words and glares were passed around. But in the words of Tom Hanks in one of his movies - “It's not personal, it's business.”
Much like the words from my professor, I will never forget what she has taught me. Her absence is what will push me to do my best and I hope I make her proud some day.
Putting a paper out is hard, but mentors are harder to come by