“I’m going to become a journalist,” my younger self said in the backseat of my parents’ car on the way back home from our annual beach trip in Gulf Shores, Alabama. “I want to graduate from Grady College.”
Even at a younger age, I knew I wanted to make an impact in the world, even if it meant doing so in a small community. I was full of determination when I set out on the journey to becoming a journalist - the world was my oyster, after all, and I was ready to carve my name in the shell.
I consider more than one place my home; however, I spent 20 years of my life in a medium-sized house on a hill, down from a family-owned farm, in Watkinsville. It was inside this house where I learned to grow and become the person I am today. It was where I learned how to swim, play the clarinet and (most importantly) write. This medium-sized house on a hill is still home to me, and I return regularly to visit my parents.
My second home is in Athens where I spent four years of my college life. After all these years, I made it! I made it to The Arch, and I made it to the one place that truly felt like home for two years: Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications. It was inside the walls of the “Photo Cave,” home of the photojournalism kids, is where I found my family; it was also inside these walls that I truly found myself as a journalist.
Photojournalism was not all I did at the University of Georgia, even though I was a staff photographer at The Red & Black, UGA’s student newspaper. I was also a staff writer for The Red & Black, and it was during my time as a writer that I learned what being a community journalist meant. It meant being the voice to the voiceless. It meant being the person the community relies on to make an impact - to make a change.
I called the Dawgs one last time as an undergraduate in May 2019. I graduated with a bachelor of arts in journalism, with an emphasis in photojournalism, and a minor in English. I also made Dean’s List, which is a nice bonus! As a side note, I have not walked through The Arch yet, but I hope to make it back to downtown Athens soon to do so.
Aside from my passion for journalism, I am the mother to two fur-babies: Xena, 3, and Grimm, 2. Xena was adopted when she was seven weeks old, and I adopted Grimm at the Athens Area Humane Society when he was six months old. I spend my free time with my fur-babies, on the couch, watching my favorite shows, such as Grey’s Anatomy, Game of Thrones and Brooklyn Nine-Nine (just to name a few!).
Excitement does not even begin to describe how I feel as I start my journey as the staff writer at The Covington News. I am honored to be able to share the stories within this community, and I look forward to meeting all the people who call this place their home.
Caitlin Jett is the staff writer for The Covington News. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.