McKissick: Goodbye, Collegian — keep on keeping on

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Nathaniel McKissick, Collegian Columnist

Editor’s Note: Traditionally, graduating seniors working at The Collegian are given the chance to write a farewell note at the end of their tenure at CSU.

I’ve met plenty of great people in my time at The Collegian — colleagues and sources alike. My time with the publication has put me in touch with a lot of people who I might not have ever crossed paths with.

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I came to The Collegian‘s opinion desk in June of last year with some help from Student Media Advisor Jake Sherlock. Knowledgeable, kind and incredibly passionate about his craft, he teaches a general reporting class that journalism students would be remiss not to take.

At the time I joined the desk, Bella Eckburg was editor of the desk, and Cody Cooke, who graduated last semester, was the director. Bella is the current director and so hilarious, helpful, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Both Bella and Cody helped me get my bearings and get comfortable writing for print.

When my first article came out, a sex column titled “Tips for navigating dating post-pandemic,” my friends took to likening me to Carrie Bradshaw from “Sex and the City.” This was naturally — given the state of Bradshaw’s selfish character and affinity for unhealthy relationships — highly insulting.

The scope of topics I covered broadened moving forward, ranging from politics to the submerged city of Stout, Colorado, resting in Horsetooth Reservoir. But I have always believed sex columns are highly valuable, especially for college students and those entering adulthood.

Sex can be scary, new and uncomfortable, but it can also be fun, exciting and titillating — no pun intended. It’s a natural part of life, and it should be discussed openly and honestly. If even one person gained any sort of value from any of my articles — sex column or otherwise — I’d be happy.

“Although I joined late, the value of RMSMC cannot be understated. The journalistic experience you gain and the connections you make are invaluable to your future career. Plus, it’s so close. Why not take advantage of it?”

The Collegian also taught me great lessons about working under deadlines and writing within the confines of AP Style, and a collaborative article taught me the value of synergism in the workplace.

My advice for burgeoning journalism students would be this: Work with The Collegian (or some other branch of the Rocky Mountain Student Media Corporation applicable to your craft) much sooner than I did. I joined the game pretty late.

A fifth-year student, I was undeclared my first two years at CSU before declaring journalism and media communications my junior year. To say I felt a little old sitting next to freshmen in JTC 210 would be an understatement.

From there, it wasn’t until my fourth year when I began working with The Collegian, joining the opinion desk to fulfill my practicum requirement. After that semester, I decided to stay on (reducing my workload to every other week), thanks to some valuable advice from Cody.

Although I joined late, the value of RMSMC cannot be understated. The journalistic experience you gain and the connections you make are invaluable to your future career. Plus, it’s so close. Why not take advantage of it?

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Not only do you have the opportunity to meet great people at The Collegian, but the sources I’ve reached out to for information in my articles have been amazing as well.

One such source, Courtenay Daum of the political science department, sat down for a highly engaging and informative discussion with me last semester. Though I am clearly not a political science student, my encounters with her left me highly recommending her as a professor.

I’m not sure where the road will take me next, but one thing is certain: I’ll never forget my time at the revered, the community-driven, the charming Rocky Mountain Collegian. It’s hard to put into words the value of everything I’ve learned.

So to The Collegian and everybody who works within its realm, I appreciate you, good luck and thanks for the memories.

Nathaniel McKissick can no longer be reached at letters@collegian.com but be reached on Twitter @NateMcKissick.