Reiland: So long, farewell

BY JORDYN REILAND | MAY 15, 2015 5:00 AM

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I only applied to two schools: Bradley University and the University of Iowa.

But let’s be honest… It was always going to be Iowa. And I can thank my Aunt Tracy for that. She recommended it one Sunday night before dinner, and once I saw the website and all of the pictures, I was intrigued.

And I’ll never forget the look on my parents’ faces when I told them I wanted to go to Iowa: Excited and completely terrified … Out-of-state tuition is rough.

I toured shortly after, and I was hooked.

And when I came to the university for the start of my freshman year I had it all figured out — or at least I thought I did.

I carried over a long-distance relationship from high school, I planned on majoring in journalism and sports studies, I was going to work at The Daily Iowan as a Metro reporter for one semester and then move to the sports section where I  hoped to eventually become Sports editor. I wanted to be the next Erin Andrews, for goodness sake.

I was pretty confident that this is what the next four years of my life would hold.

It’s funny how things rarely work out that way.

But I was OK with that.

As most people know, long-distance relationships are a lot more work than anyone can ever tell you, so that didn’t work out.

I did end up spending a semester as a Metro reporter at the DI but never moved to the sports section — instead I spent the year reporting on the likes of the number of fake IDs used on campus, I interviewed President Sally Mason once a month, I covered the Iowa City School Board, all while trying to survive my first year of college classes.

And take a wild guess… I did end up as Sports editor for a semester, but again, it was something I had no plans doing.

I quickly came to realize that I wasn’t 100 percent sure who I was and who I was going to be upon Graduation Day. I realized that college is about finding out what you want to do and who you want to be, and while I still kept a lot of the things the same, a lot of my life changed for the best.

I met two of my very best friends Matt and Kristen while working at the DI and quite a few other people that I know I’ll keep in touch with. I had the pleasure of taking classes in both the Journalism and Sociology Department, where I learned from some of the most inspiring and driven professors.

I decided that reporting on sports — as much as I loved the idea of it — was not for me. Rather, I found myself enjoying writing about higher education and crime — I even dabbled in politics.

I also found myself enjoying being a leader and was an editor the last three years, helping develop stories and guide reporters much like myself to find their voice and run with it.

I spent the summer interning at China Daily, in Beijing … With absolutely no understanding of the language.

I took on the role as Editor-in-Chief for the last year, one of hardest jobs I’ve had but easily the most fun.

I was also incredibly lucky to have such an incredible staff of more than 125 reporters and editors. Thank you all for making this the best year of my life.

I also have to take a few words to thank my family. Mom, Ben, Alexandra, and Dad, you have all been incredibly supportive in your own ways, and I will never be able to thank you enough for everything. Most importantly, I miss you Papa, more than you know.

By the time you read this, I will have put my last paper to bed as Editor-in-Chief of  the DI.

I will have passed the torch on to the incoming editor and she and her staff will pick up right where I left off and do tremendous things. There’s a lot to look forward to in the future of the DI and college journalism.

That I know to be true.

You see, you don’t have to come to college with it all figured out; you just need to have a little faith and remember that not all days are great but every day is OK.

And that’s something I’ve always had figured out.

Jordyn Reiland graduates from the University of Iowa on Saturday with journalism and sociology degrees. Stay in touch with her by sending an email to jordynreiland@gmail.com, or follow her on Twitter, @JordynReiland.

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