Reflections from four years at The Daily Universe

Daily Universe reporter Kaitlyn Bancroft (center) stands between her mentors Steve Fidel (left) and Carrie Moore (right) on the day she graduated from BYU. (Kaitlyn Bancroft)

I didn’t know the meaning of “bittersweet” until my last day at The Daily Universe.

It’s just like I didn’t know, when Daily Universe Director Steve Fidel offered a job to an 18-year-old freshman he had just met, what the next four years of working in the newsroom would bring: extraordinary opportunities, belly-aching laughter, soul-stretching challenges, and friendship and mentoring from people I’m so grateful for that I’ll never be able to fully express it.

To say the Daily Universe has changed my life would be like saying the earth is big or the sun is bright. It just doesn’t do justice to everything the newsroom was to me during the four years I worked there: home when my apartment was lonely, safety when the world felt chaotic and belonging on a campus that sometimes left me feeling like an ugly duckling among swans.

Of course, it was the incredible people I worked with who made the newsroom what it was to me. My co-workers, teachers and mentors challenged my views about the world and about myself. They showed me how to balance an article and how to balance my time. They taught me compassion in reporting and in life, and I can say without hesitation that I’m not just a better reporter for my time at the Daily Universe, I’m a better person.

I owe special thanks to my mentors Steve Fidel and Carrie Moore. Steve consistently made me feel capable, cared for and like an integral part of the newsroom. Carrie was the person I went to when I faced fears and doubts about my reporting and about myself. They were the first people I wanted to tell when I was offered an internship at the Denver Post this summer.

As excited as I am for my next adventure, leaving the Daily Universe is the hardest part of graduating college for me. Words don’t often fail me, but they’re pitifully inadequate right now; I didn’t know my heart could be so broken and so full.

To my wonderful co-workers, thank you for embracing me with open arms and cheering me on through every setback and victory. To my phenomenal mentors, thank you for caring not just about the work I was producing but about the person I was becoming. To all of my Daily Universe family — thank you for the camaraderie, the inside jokes, and for the sense of community. Thank you for being the reason I belonged at BYU, especially on the days I wasn’t sure I did.

It’s so hard to say goodbye, but a piece of me will always be in the newsroom. Instead, I’ll just say “thank you” again and hope those two small words can somehow encompass how truly grateful I am for the ways I was irrevocably and undeniably changed by my time at The Daily Universe.

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