Erin Brock, 21, graduated in May 2018 with a degree in journalism/news and information and a minor in Spanish. She was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. She is currently the managing editor for the University Daily Kansan. She hopes to one day have her own political commentary show.
I was all set to go to a different school. I went to KU to visit, and it was a stamp seal. It was just like, ‘I wanna be here.’ I really fell in love with Lawrence’s vibe, maybe even more than KU.
Sometimes people ask, “Why do you love Kansas?” I can’t tell you why I do. It is a blind devotion to the sunflowers.
When I was 18 I thought I had it all figured out and now that I’m almost 22 I have nothing figured out. I learned from so many different people at KU. I’ve met people that have changed me socially and politically. I think it really helped me develop what I wanted my own identity to be.
My dad used to always tell me that I get in my own head too much and that I need to take a second to step back and look at what’s working in my life. Taking time to breathe and look at everything that’s happened to you is clarifying and will help you realize what you need to do next.
Early on in college I didn’t want to work at the student paper because I felt like I didn’t fit in there. I didn’t want to be a reporter. I took one reporting class and I realized, ‘Wow, that’s not what I want to do at all.’
I realized how much I love editing. I know that I can help someone make their piece from a good piece to a great piece. A lot of copy editing jobs are dwindling, which doesn’t make sense to me. Having someone else look over your work is the moment that transforms something that is not so good into something that could be hugely impactful.
All of my best college memories are tied to working at the UDK. I love the people I work with. It’s a lot of other students who are just as fiercely passionate as me about free press and whatever weird political climate we’re in. Those relationships are rewarding.
The UDK can be so many things for someone. You can be in every section. The UDK is tradition, but it also has the freedom for people to explore different projects because news is always changing.
I wanted to leave college. I was really struggling in the middle of college. I felt super lost, which I think a lot of other people feel, too. The idea of being an educated young woman has always kept me in school.
My advice for future journalism students is to try to find out what you want journalism to be for you. People think that journalism has to be one thing. That it has to be reporting or it has to be broadcasting and it doesn’t. Journalism is the fastest changing career path that you can take. It can be so many different things.
Now that I’m about to graduate I can’t believe that I came here four years ago and now I’m leaving. It feels like it was two seconds of school and 12 years all at once.
Claire Limesand is a senior from Lawrence, Kansas, studying news and information. She doesn’t know what she wants to do after graduation and would like everyone to stop asking, please.