This is (not) the end of our journey

Sean Bassinger

On an April evening in 2013, I was getting ready to head home after I turned in my last news article for the week.

That’s when my boss got the call.

“What?” She first asked. It was her brother, describing a bomb threat that someone called into each residence hall on campus, but I didn’t know that yet.

I did, however, know that my night wasn’t over.

I’ve spent three out of my five years in college at Oregon State University, though it honestly feels like I attended here longer.

I could say the same about my two years at Linn-Benton Community College, and my three month stay during my first internship at the Klamath Falls Herald and News.

Sometimes, when you’re a journalist, you get to do a little bit of everything.

I say “sometimes” since some reporters stick to a single beat or topic within their beat. Others say farewell to the reporter’s life after a term or two as they ascend to the role of section editor, managing editor or editor-in-chief.

Others don’t always get the full experience when they decide this isn’t for them.

And that’s perfectly fine—exactly how it should be, actually.

Nobody’s college experience is going to be “one size fits all.”

One of the greatest things I’ve loved about working for a student paper is getting to see a variety of these experiences in my own way, whether it was from bolting out to cover breaking news on campus chaos to sitting at the editor’s desk as an indifferent conservative pens a letter to let me know how they really feel (spoiler alert: not happy).

But the paper (and this goes for all newspapers, quite frankly) is more than just an aging coffee shop decoration or something for grammar aficionados to yell at.

The Daily Barometer has existed for more than a century on campus—it first published in 1896 and evolved from a weekly to a daily, and will likely see more transitions on the print front as community journalism continues a seemingly frightening shift toward digital platforms (more spoiler alerts: it’s really not that frightening).

If you search through the archives, that’s more than 120 years of student-documented history.

And, naturally, student papers tend to receive a pretty large amount of criticism, which I’m rather fond of myself.

Someone would not comment if they did not care. You should care.

And, as the guard continues to shift, there will be better and worse terms. The same goes for other student-ran organizations on campus, such as the Associated Students of Oregon State University.

No matter what any of us do or continue to do, we’re going to receive what we put in. Based on my own stories and interviews over the years, I’ve seen many students, staff and faculty put a lot of energy and drive into this university.

I imagine many of these students will continue to put the same if not more effort into their future endeavors.

So for those of you graduating, don’t panic if you haven’t entirely figured out where you’re going right after commencement.

Some of us will have jobs or internships lined up right after graduation. Others may take a bit longer to get situated or look into future options (there’s graduate school for those of you who continue to fall in love with academia).

I’ve known friends from years prior who took a few months to find gigs. They’ve all landed on their feet in one way or another.

But regardless of your major or area of interest, make sure you maintain some sort of passion, drive and energy dedicated toward what you love. As students with backgrounds related to science, engineering, business and the liberal arts, OSU students continue to stand out with a variety of skills.

After all, there has to be something behind those “Powered by Orange” banners we see floating across campus. At least, I hope it means more than just $15,000-100,000 in potential student loan debt.


The opinions expressed in Bassinger’s column do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Barometer staff.

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