How The Panther Changed My Life

Angelina Astic, Contents/Copy Editor

Journalism is such a beautiful thing. Living in a nation where the First Amendment right to speech is enshrined in the very heart of our Constitution has mattered more and more to me as I have grown older. But I don’t think I fully realized how much this privilege meant to me until I joined The Panther newspaper

Growing up, I always loved writing. From completing journal entries in class, to writing essays to typing long winded diary-like entries in my notes app, putting words on paper is like second nature to me. Journalistic writing, however, was foreign to me; something I had long admired from afar, but never attempted myself. That was, until I became a member of staff at the start of my junior year.

Everyone knows that The Panther is a family. The people who are part of this family have changed my life, specifically the members of 2020-2021, 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 leadership. 

Nicole, Jane, Jack, Priscilla, Valentina, Sydney: there have been no greater journalistic role models. Each of you put effort into teaching myself and my fellow staffers, emphasizing that we learn through our hard work, not from waiting idly on the sidelines. You never shied away from having us write difficult stories, covering a wide range of topics and individuals who affect our daily lives. By allowing us to explore our interests and the world, you have provided us with the platform to be courageous and empowered through the support and guidance you each gave us. Thank you for giving me one of my greatest loves, journalism. 

Bella, Allie, Ana, Kate, Katriona, Gianna, Julia: the queens of newspaper. It is no shock when one looks at where you are all attending college because you all have worked so hard in each and every facet of your lives. An all-female leadership, you have embodied what it means to be successful, determined, effective, strong and powerful. Watching you blossom in your roles has been such a privilege and I am so proud of all of you. Thank you for allowing me to grow as a person, journalist and writer this year. 

Sam, Amy-Grace, Ryan, Ella, Nicole, Ava, Jasmine. You all have motivated me, inspired me, impressed me and amazed others with your talents, drive, personalities and most importantly, your hearts. You each have such a desire to create work that is authentic, full of life and socially aware of the trials and tribulations that life brings. Thank you for the light and love you bring to yourselves and others, showing me that there is always something to be learned from those around you, no matter how young they may be. 

This story marks the very last time an editorial of mine will be published on The Panther’s online section. There is so much I feel I have left to say that I never had the chance to. Stories I want to write. Experiences I wish to share. Life lessons I know someone could benefit from. But I also know that all good things must come to an end. And this has been a very good thing. With that, I’m signing off. Remember to always write from the heart, read stories that bleed truth and try to always look for the happiness. Astic out.