Ian Leonard

Leonard is a senior writing and linguistics major from Johns Creek, Georgia. Leonard is the Enterprise Managing Editor for The George-Anne. He has been a part of Student Media for four years.

It’s hard to summarize my time at The George-Anne. It’s been equal parts my greatest blessing and most brutal damnation. I owe so much to this organization but there have been times it’s brought me to my knees in frustration. It’s a thankless job, the hours are long and the problems are never-ending. When I look back on it, my tenure here has just been one long ceaseless disaster. But it’s hard to complain (not for lack of trying mind you), I could have left whenever I wanted. I chose to stay.

My introduction to Student Media was a mistake, I made countless more while working here and who knows how many await me once I leave. For better or worse Student Media has been a constant these past few years to the point that I can’t even begin to imagine what my college life would have been like without it. Student Media gives as much as it takes. My time here has set me up for success unlike anything else and so many of the opportunities I’ve been afforded are thanks to the work I’ve done at The George-Anne.

But I didn’t stay for the experience or the resume fluff. I didn’t stay for the money, and I sure as Hell didn’t stay for the constant criticism. I think the reason I stuck it out all four, grueling years for the little moments in between all the hard work, and bitter times.

I stayed so Jozsef, Robert and I could spend hours on end arguing about sports. I stayed for the late nights quoting the same two stupid Spongebob Vines with Tandra and Matthew. I stayed so I could continue to berate Blakeley and Brendan for their unending complaints. I stayed for the late afternoon brainstorming sessions in the Reflector office with Cydney and Jeff, where I learned that hot air rises. I stayed for the people here who’ve helped me grow, and change and lit a fire under my ass when I needed it and comforted me even when I acted like I didn’t want it. I stayed because of Macy and Price, and Gorla and Heather. I stayed because of Matt and Meg, and D.J. and Kiara. I stayed because of Cheryl and Annie, and Thomas and McClain and Casey and Peebles and so many more people that I wish I could name.

And although my beginnings here may have been a bit unorthodox, I know that many of Student Media’s alumni share this same sentiment. Wonderful and talented people have roamed these halls, and I hope to be counted among their ranks one day, but even if I’m not, that’s okay. This will always be the best mistake I’ve ever made.

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