By Linda Wilkins
Editor in chief
When I started the trek to McLane Stadium, I was already tired. I’d been handing out Lariat sunglasses for 5 and a half hours to the Baylor Line, all the while standing in the sun and waving at people to come over.
The thing that a lot of people don’t understand about people who work at the Lariat is that their time is oftentimes consumed by the job. Many members of the staff have responsibilities that push them into overtime, beyond what they get paid for. Even as I write this blog, it’s 1:30 a.m. and people are still hard at work in the newsroom.
This was the case for me today at the stadium.
We at the Lariat were aware of the monumental opportunity we had to cover the opening game at the new McLane Stadium. We’d written stories on it before – everything from when the new stadium idea was in its infancy to how transportation to the game would change.
This day was different. The editors sat down last week and determined what everyone should do during the game – someone covering transportation, someone on tailgating, even someone in downtown Waco and then some. The plan was to cover several areas concerning the stadium and get them online in a timely fashion.
This meant that someone would need to be uploading stories to the website during the game. This job fell to me.
When I started toward the stadium, I wondered if I should even go to the game. I was tired, dehydrated, feeling a little bleh, and I still had five hours of work to go. I didn’t want to miss the inaugural game in McLane Stadium. After all, I had a coveted student ticket that I couldn’t let go to waste, especially knowing so many people didn’t get a ticket.
As I made the journey from the Castellaw Communications Center to University Parks Drive to the Baylor Law School and over the Sheila and Walter Umphrey Bridge the feelings of grossness from sweat and tiredness from work faded.
For the first time, I saw McLane Stadium rising up to loom over me in all its game-day glory. An excited feeling rose within me.
Sure, I was tired. Yes, I was sunburned and sweaty. But these things no longer mattered.
Not only was I there as a journalist, I was there as a student. I wasn’t just there to put stories online, I was there to support my team. I wasn’t at this stadium as a bandwagon fan, I was, and have been since I made the decision to go to Baylor, a Baylor Bear.
So, I sat in the stadium with my laptop, laptop charger, iPhone, iPhone charger, Lariat credentials and an extra point-and-shoot camera. I cheered for my team along with the 45,732 other people, not including those watching from home.
All the while, I tweeted for the Lariat, uploaded stories and texted the other editors.
Some people would hate having to work on game day. I, on the other hand, did not. I love my job at the Lariat, despite the time it takes up. Today, I realized that we at the Lariat have the unique opportunity to cover these events at Baylor. Like the freshmen who ran the Line in the first football game, we have the chance to take advantage of these once in a lifetime opportunities.
I encourage you to think about the memories you’ve made so far in your college career. Cherish them. Look for opportunities to make more. You may feel like you aren’t up to the task, but sometimes you realize that something great is just over the horizon.