I walked into the Daily Beacon office in the fall 2015 terrified, not knowing what to expect or anything about journalism. Four years later, I can for sure say that I learned one thing: John Kennedy loves his four-hour lunch breaks.
This will be my 190th and final article for The Daily Beacon. I remember those first few articles and all the oxford commas and five sentence paragraphs that I tried to use. I can’t even look at those stories anymore.
But, I also remember that feeling when I got a text from the sports editor in 2015, Jonathan Toye, telling me that a feature story I did on one of the baseball players was going to be on the front page of the paper the next day. I couldn’t sleep I was so excited. I raced down to the newspaper rack inside Reese Hall the next morning, grabbed a paper and there was my story on the front page with the byline “Rob Harver, Contributor.” Thanks a lot, Toye.
As much as I have learned about journalism in my four years at the beacon, whether it was as Assistant Sports Editor, Managing Editor or even as Sports Columnist which indeed was a position I made up myself, I can say that the thing I will never forget about this place is the friendships.
Despite his blunder on my story, I am thankful for the extensive knowledge that Toye gave me my first year. I wouldn’t have stood a chance at being a successful sports editor the next year had it not been for Toye’s guidance and help my freshman year.
I am thankful for Kylie Hubbard who, instead of managing last year as managing editor, I
convinced to try and find and eat every M&M flavor. We may not have gotten a lot done, but we sure did have fun watching every single vine compilation known to man. I will always take credit in molding you into the great Editor-in-Chief that you are now despite doing nothing but distract you from your work.
I am NOT thankful for Tyler Wombles who I fired at least 80 times last year but didn’t get the hint and instead did an excellent job as sports editor and now managing editor. Tyler is one of the hardest workers there is and our trip to the 2017 SEC Media Days where we had our “room with a view” that was really a view of an Outback Steakhouse will never be forgotten.
Blake Von Hagen is a degenerate who only talks about sports betting and was the first person I met at the Beacon. Blake and I will be living in adjoining cardboard boxes after we graduate in two weeks as we attempt to find jobs. As Kylie said just a few weeks ago, I don’t think I can actually picture working in a different place as Blake so instead we are going to be sending out a joint resume.
The list of sports staff members through the years that I am thankful for is quite extensive. I am thankful for Damichael Cole, who is one of the few left standing in our original Beacon crew, Will Backus, Shane Switzer, Trenton Duffer, Cory Sanning and 75-year old Noah Taylor to name a few of those people.
We may not have known what we were doing as leaders half the time last year, but Alex
Holcomb and myself survived and I am thankful for that and the knowledge he bestowed upon me.
Jerry Bush made me eat lunch at 10 in the morning and John Kennedy still hasn’t come back from lunch, but I am still thankful for the guidance and freedom that they gave me as a journalist.
The list could go on and on of the people that I am thankful to have met over my four years at the Beacon. Will Boling, Ben McKee, David Cobb, Troy Provost-Heron, Austin Bornheim, Taylor White, Bradi Musil, Jenna Butz, Hannah Moulton, Meagan Patterson, and Caroline Norris are just a few of the great media people that the Beacon has given me the opportunity to meet and
If I could leave young journalism students with some final advice, it would be this: Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and take a chance with the Beacon. I will be using the things that I learned at the Beacon for my entire life. I was a scared freshman once too who didn’t want to walk into a room full of strangers in the dungeon of the Communications Building.
But, I thank God every day that He gave me a big push into that orange office that will forever be a home to me.