Senior Farewell: Lauren J. Mapp

Lauren J. Mapp poses on the steps of San
Diego State University.
Raelynn Bichitty
A few weeks ago, I woke up as I do every morning. I grabbed my phone off the nightstand, scrolled through Twitter, read the news and eventually, ever so reluctantly, yanked myself out of bed to get ready for the day. Then it hit me out of nowhere: I only had one month left until graduation.

Though I’ve spent such a long time working toward this moment, it seems hard to believe I’m finally graduating with my bachelor’s degree — and that I’m writing my final article as a senior staff writer for The Daily Aztec.

My two years at San Diego State have flown by, but I’m thankful for all the amazing friends and mentors I’ve met while on campus. Writing about myself has always been a difficult task to do, so I would like to take this opportunity to instead write about everyone who has helped me through this journey.

I couldn’t have asked for a sweeter, more supportive or more loving partner than Peter Hefti to have while finishing school. Thank you for standing by my side as I pushed myself too hard, stayed up too late and took on too much during these last two years.

My parents, grandmother and younger siblings have all inspired me in so many ways to work hard and achieve academic excellence. Since both my parents worked full-time while going to school, I knew I too could do this to achieve my goal of avoiding massive student loans. I am thankful to my family for listening to my erratic ramblings, loving me and being there when I needed someone to vent to.

I’ve learned so much from everyone on the team at inewsource when it comes to investigative journalism, data analysis, document-driven reporting and using social media in the newsroom. Thanks to Lorie Hearn, Laura Wingard, Brandon Quester, Brad Racino, Shyla Nott, Jill Castellano, Carla Sanchez and Ashley Rodriguez for the great advice, helpful lessons and tough edits.

Nicole Vargas and Alexa Mokalis were the first two people at SDSU to make me feel at home. I found it hard to fit in as an older student at first, but having them to confide in helped to make the transition into SDSU.

Professors Rebecca Coates Nee, Amy Schmitz-Weiss, Peggy Peattie, Roman Koenig and Arthur Santana have pushed me to be the best multimedia journalist I can be. Their feedback on my projects have been incredibly helpful, and I know I’ll refer to their lessons throughout my career.

A huge shoutout goes to the editors I worked under at The Daily Aztec: Will Fritz, Jocelyn Moran, Bella Ross, David Santillan, Jasmine Bermudez, Julianna Ress, Lexington Howe and Cami Buckman.

My post-graduation career plans are not yet solidified, but I know I’ll continue to “seek the truth and report it.” As Helen Thomas once said, “We don’t go into journalism to be popular. It is our job to seek the truth and put constant pressure on our leaders until we get answers.”

This story was first published in The Daily Aztec on Oct. 10, 2018.


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