It’s just one more week

By Tyler Dixon

It’s a weird feeling that one thing I have looked forward to for my entire life is a week away … and I’m terrified.

Working toward this point and it finally being here is bittersweet. It’s also a point I never thought I would reach.

Education wasn’t important to me while growing up. I flew through grade school until I switched to private school where I struggled. High school wasn’t a walk in the park either. It wasn’t until after I graduated high school where it all finally clicked for me. I was the person who thought about graduating college but didn’t feel like it was actually going to happen.

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I received a full academic scholarship to community college. My high school’s rigorous curriculum made the switch easier than I thought. After completing two years there, I transferred to SIU. I was already accepted to be a Saluki after high school but after getting my scholarship I decided I would rather not be in debt yet.

My first class in Carbondale was an 8 a.m. media ethics class. I commuted from my hometown, which took about an hour each way. Even then, I had no idea what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. My professor asked what my interests were and I said sports writing, he then suggested I work at the DE. At the time, I had no clue what the DE was so I just said I would look into it.

Working at The Daily Egyptian is one of the best decisions I have ever made. Several times I almost quit school and went to work full-time but I didn’t. After working at the DE, I finally realized what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. The paper not only taught me about writing but it taught me about making relationships.

I have met people here that have impacted me in ways I wouldn’t believe. I will keep in touch with them for the rest of my life. Yes, every job has its downfalls and the things that I have lost during my time here don’t feel like loses at all. They were all experiences I never would have had if I didn’t work here. Along with the people I’ve met, I have talked to people I would have never had the chance to speak with in any other capacity.

The Daily Egyptian not only gave me a paycheck but an outlet for my work. It was a way for me to put things that bounce around in my head into action.

During my time here, I have covered several things that I will never forget.

On Dec. 17, I sat in a makeshift pressroom at Murray State University. At the time, I didn’t think much about what was said during the press conference but before I made it back to Carbondale coach Barry Hinson was getting more airtime on ESPN than the Lakers.

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I went to bed at 6:00 a.m. the next morning and was up two hours later. The night was full of tweets, blog posts, audio files, emails along with numerous texts and phone calls. It was that night showed me I wanted to be a journalist for the rest of my life.

One of my favorite stories was about graduate students from Sri Lanka that play cricket. I worked on it for a month and learned about a culture I never would have known about if I didn’t work at the DE.

With graduation a week away, my plans are still murky. I was recently accepted to graduate school at SIU in the department of kinesiology. I’m not sure if I will stay here or continue to explore the possibility of landing a job right out of college.

Whatever path I choose, I can thank the Daily Egyptian for anything and everything that comes my way.

Tyler Dixon can be reached at [email protected] or @tdixon_DE on Twitter. 

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