As hard as it is to believe, my days as The Covington News intern are over.
Somehow, the months of summer have slipped away and have been reduced to days.
In the all-too-near future, I will be sitting among my peers in a classroom once again.
Yet I'm excited about another year of school, and the opportunity to enhance my knowledge in journalism.
Although, I will never learn everything there is to learn, it's the pursuit of knowledge I enjoy.
I am looking forward to my new classes, meeting my new professors and learning what knowledge they have to impart to me.
But at this juncture of learning, I have to ask, what am I going to learn in a classroom next semester that a summer in a newsroom hasn't already taught me?
In the past couple of months, I have become a real, live journalist. With my journalist notebook in hand and a pen stuck firmly behind my ear, my dreams of becoming the next Bob Costas are in flight.
I have sat in meetings, interviewed strangers, stressed over deadlines and have had to work until wee hours of the night.
I have cultivated sources in the community where I have grown up, one that I have called my home for 22 years,
I have met new people almost everyday and have run in to old friends too.
I have learned the ins-and-outs of the newsroom and all the extras that they don't tell you about when you apply for the job.
I learned the effort that it takes to make a tri-weekly paper a success and all the team work that is involved.
I have witnessed the ups-and-downs but, at the same time, have seen remarkable displays of cooperation among my co-workers.
At nervous and hostile moments, we came together and produced a great paper before deadline.
I have been sent on assignments covering things on opposite sides of the spectrum.
I began my writing career with a feature story about a local athlete and have journeyed from board of education meetings to city council meetings.
I was forced to think of stories on my own to write about. It was my little project. I choose the topic, I choose the people I would talk with, I set up the interviews and I wrote and wrote until I thought it was perfect.
I was given the opportunity to showcase my skills and took the challenge gladly.
Never once did I look at myself as the summer intern. I held my head high and tried to stay stride for stride with the big guns of the office.
I competed in the real world and got a first hand look at what life has to throw me.
Although the road may be long, and life is filled with obstacles that I will have to over come, I can officially say that I have gotten my feet wet.
I have matured greatly and learned immensely. After a summer filled with so much excitement and hands-on activity, I have to believe that a semester in the classroom will seem a little dull.
Brian Harper is an intern reporter for The Covington News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.