The student led, student read news organization at Georgia Southern University

The George-Anne Media Group

The student led, student read news organization at Georgia Southern University

The George-Anne Media Group

The student led, student read news organization at Georgia Southern University

The George-Anne Media Group

    Till Next Time, Georgia Southern


    Hey guys. For those of you who do not know me, my name is Blake Williams and I am a Multimedia Journalism major here at Georgia Southern. I transferred here in Fall 2022 after I got my Associates degree in Liberal Arts at East Georgia State College. I have been working for the George Anne here on campus ever since the beginning of 2023. I have had the privilege to send out all the George Anne Daily Newsletters out to you guys for the last year, and today, I send out my last. Now, it’s time for me to take the next step in my career. To start, I would like to talk about how I ended up in this situation.


    How’d I end up here?

    It’s the end of Spring ‘22, and I still don’t really know what I want to do with my life. I was going to school to be a teacher at the time, but I was very wishy-washy about it. I think I just wanted a job where I was around people all of the time. Long story short, I graduated and was planning to take a break, when a few of my friends talked me into transferring to Statesboro with them. It wasn’t an easy decision, because I had already felt burnt out from the school work I was doing there, but my advisor at the time Miss Candice Lynn pulled me to the side and pretty much said I might as well get the rest done since I was halfway there. The more I thought about it, I felt like I would learn more experiences if I moved away and tried to figure things out myself. After I had signed my lease for an apartment, at that point I had already put on the shoes, might as well lace them up and wear them out too. 


    Then, I got to SOAR for orientation, and thought I had all my ducks in a row, but in true registration fashion, it was the bane of my existence. To the point, I didn’t understand how the RAN system worked, just that if I didn’t get it I was going to have classes. After a considerable effort to get it all straightened out, I got mad one day and decided to change my major to MMJ. I was working at the Forest Blade, a news outlet in Swainsboro at the time and really enjoyed doing it. So I figured I would try to graduate doing something I liked doing. Now in a few days, I look to get that degree.


    My time here

    In the beginning, I was just filling things out. Classes were just something I had to do for the day, then I went home and played the game or did homework. Wasn’t too much going on. I ended up moving into the same apartment complex as some folks I went to high school with, but never really met. It’s pretty funny how we ended up meeting in a whole different town. I didn’t really make too many friends in school the first semester, with the exception of an afternoon class that lasted 3 hours, every Wednesday from 5-8. I am thankful to have taken that class, because it taught me a lot about cameras that I didn’t know before, and I have been good friends with most of the classmates in that class.


    One of the girls in the class, Elise Taylor, mentioned that she had worked for the school newspaper, the George Anne, and that I should try it out if that’s what I wanted to do. I decided to give it a try, beings there were scholarships involved and it would help pay for rent. Former Director of Student Media David Simpson then offered me a position, after I told him I had experience at a paper before. The first semester dragged on because we were working out of the Forest Drive Building, which I can only describe as working in a cardboard box. We had no windows and worked off of foldable tables. Thankful that we had an office at all, but it was a rough time to be alive. With guidance from David and my Editor in Chief Vanessa Countryman, I learned how to write stories that get straight to the point and tell all the details. If you have made it this far in the article, you’re probably calling bs but this is a ramble not a news story. 


    In my time at the George Anne, I have learned so much. I like to think that in the journalism field, we are able to go out and see a lot of things, and I’ve done just that here. Not only have I seen a lot of things, but I have met a lot of people too. The people I have met throughout the George Anne, I consider them to be friends for life. I have also had the opportunity to fly out to Minneapolis last Summer for a conference through the G-A. I dreaded the thought of being on a plane, but because it was a fully funded trip, I couldn’t refuse. It really came down to my grandpa telling me I’d beat myself up if I passed the opportunity up. Now, I can’t wait for the next chance to get back in the air.  


    What’s next?

    To be honest, I never really have a plan for what I want to do with my life. Tomorrow, I could completely change my mind and go be a movie star on the West Coast. But as of now, I am looking forward to my internship at Grice Connect over the Summer. I will be able to use the skills I have learned over the past few years to not only have new experiences, but have some money in my pocket as well. Lord knows, I’d be living at the G-A office eating crackers every night if it wasn’t for my grandparents looking out for me. 


    I want to take this time to thank everyone who has supported me and made this journey one I will never forget.


    David Simpson: Although David has already rode off into the sunset of retirement, he is one of the key reasons I stayed at the G-A. There were a lot of times where I wanted to get another job off campus to help keep some money in my pocket, but he always pulled me to the side and told me we should talk about it. There was even a time where I told him I wanted to transfer to UGA work for the Red and Black, and before we left their newsroom he told me he was gonna have better scholarship positions and he wanted me to stick around. Didn’t take much convincing after I looked at how much it would cost to live there. In all seriousness, I am glad I stuck around to hear your philosophy about how important email is, or to count how many times I saw you going to Chick-Fil-a in a week.


    Justine Cozza: If I was told last year that David was going to be retiring from being our advisor, I would have been very worried. But, ever since you have came to the G-A as our assistant advisor, now our only advisor, I can easily say that everyone is in good hands. You have been beneficial not only to me, but many of the students at the G-A. To me personally, you have given me great advice, pointed me in the right direction for stories throughout the semester, always made sure I was on my p’s and q’s, and you’ve overall just been a positive influence on me and the G-A. I can’t wait to see how everything turns out next year.


    Professors: To start, I want to say that I am thankful for all of my professors, because without them I wouldn’t be graduating, (literally without their help I could’ve failed numerous times). Dr. Holly Cowart, you always had a very simple and laid out course schedule so that everyone knew what was due, what was needed, and you were always available to help. Dr. Jeff Riley, not only were your classes also very user friendly, but your energy can not be matched. In not only my college career, but my schooling career in general have I had a teacher so passionate about what they’re teaching. It is almost like you pass the passion on to us. Gina Germani, I would not be as confident, determined or knowledgeable about journalism if it was for you. You pushed most of us to our limits, and as much as we complained about it I believe I speak for all of us when I say we are truly grateful for it.


    Staff at the G-A: This article would be way too long to read if I went through and talked about everyone I have worked with, so I hope that all of you think about the good times we had together. I am so thankful for each and everyone of you. I know I mainly got close to many of you because I can talk a brick off a wall, but I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I would not have stuck around as long as I did if it wasn’t for y’all. To the staff members I have gotten to know outside the office, I am extremely grateful for all of our nights out. It was a great “team bonding exercise,”


    Friends: Again, would be a very long article if I kept on, but I am grateful for all of you. We have grown closer as time has gone on, whether it was getting together at the house to watch wrestling or just a long day at the pool; of course so I can grill for the kids, I’m grateful. I am also grateful that my girlfriend puts up with me and these long nights at the office. Thank you for all of your support.


    Family: Last but not least, a big thank you to my family. To my grandparents Scotty and Valerie, thank you for pushing me to go to college and supporting me all the way through. I know you always told me if I left and didn’t like what I was getting into, there was always a place to come back too. At the same time, you also taught me that if I started something, I needed to at least finish it out and I didn’t like it, move on. I am glad that I was able to stick to it and finally get this “professional student” degree. Pa, I know you still don’t know what I am going to college for, and I honest still don’t have a definite answer, but I like working with the news so as long as it is keeping McDonalds on my plate I am content with that. I hope one day I’ll be able to afford Longhorn’s or Texas Roadhouse. Ma, I am and forever will be thankful that you and Pa look after not only me, but the whole family. To my cousins and Aunt Stephanie, thank y’all for also supporting me while I have been at “Blue Room University,”. 


    Till next time

    If you have made it this far, I am glad that you were interested in my college spill. I will be in Statesboro for a little while longer, and I will be involved as an alumni in any way I can for as long as I can. Southern has given me some of the best memories of my life, and I can’t wait to make more. HAIL SOUTHERN!

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    About the Contributors
    Blake Williams
    Blake Williams, Co-Editor in Chief, The George-Anne
    Jordyn Mobley
    Jordyn Mobley, Editor In Chief, The George-Anne Films

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