International student improves communication skills with Plainsman Press experience

by Victoria de Souza

            I have never been a very good person for dealing with goodbyes, and saying goodbye to the Plainsman Press has not been an exception.

            My story with the Plainsman Press newspaper started way before Autumn’s unstoppable attempts to get me to join as a staff member. In the spring of 2018, Randi Jines, one of the editors for the paper, interviewed me for a student feature, which introduced me to the class and helped me make new friends.IMG_0966

Honestly, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. After months of peer pressure, I finally said, “OK, Autumn, I will join the newspaper,” and here I am two semesters later.

I was extremely scared on my first day. I did not have any idea what I would have to do. I never had any interest in Journalism, and I was very concerned about my ability to write. When I came to college, I did not have much knowledge about how to write in English. It was a very difficult time when I became part of the newspaper to overcome the fear of someone else reading my stories.

My first issue at the newspaper was very difficult for me when I wrote about how I always try to hide my accent because of being afraid of people discriminating against me. It was very hard, and I might have called Autumn, editor-in-chief of the Plainsman Press, in the middle of a major emotional breakdown. But after a lot of practice, writing became a little easier for me.

Being part of the staff not only has helped me improve my writing skills, it has given me a new little family away from home. Coming to college in a different city was very overwhelming, since I did not know anyone around this town.


Besides being the one who made me be on the newspaper staff, Autumn Bippert always helped others and encouraged me to keep writing. She has become my best friend who always sticks by my side, no matter what. This red head always pushing me to do things that challenges myself helped me become a better writer and a better person, even when she made me mad sometimes when we were both tired and stressed. She is capable of achieving anything that she wants and she knows.

Another person who always helped me a lot is Kendall Rainer. He really helped in getting a bunch of questions out of my head in seconds. It is really cool to see how creative he can be. Of course, he always says two or three jokes about my accent and how confusing I sound when I get tired. Even though he is still figuring out what he wants to do, he will be able to do it better than anyone, and he will follow his dream with passion.

A new friend of mine, Desiree Lopez, is always making jokes that help make the night go a little easier when we are laying out pages until 3 a.m. She is a hardworking girl who is capable of a lot, and anyone should not underestimate her.


To Charles Ehrenfeld, thank you for believing in me. I probably have not been the best writer, but you always told me, through the notes in my corrections, that I was and I am still improving a lot with my journalistic skills. And you might be the reason why I do not use blue pens anymore. But every time that you give me my papers full of corrections, it always shows me that I could do better.

I cannot deny how stressful this experience has been, with lots of tears, nights awake, and amazing experience collected. But it is impossible to say that I would not do it again. During the  past two semesters, being in this Newsroom has improved more than just my writing skills. The Plainsman Press has taught me to manage stressful times and be more confident in myself because I can do anything if I work hard for it.

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