Turning my head feverishly, I tried to find the perfect seat at the front of the room. I mean, it was Convocation: this was the beginning of the rest of my life, so I needed to have a good view.
As I looked over my shoulder, I saw an open seat next to a girl wearing a sleeveless shirt, her left arm covered in tattoos. She stood tall with a mean expression and red lipstick to match. I was intimidated immediately, but the seat next to her was the perfect spot, so I sat down anyway.
She noticed me and introduced herself as Madison Karas. She told me she’s from Minnesota and while she had never written an article, she was a journalism major just like me. She had an infectious laugh and a warm smile, and I soon realized maybe I’d judged her too quickly.
But, it was fine — it wasn’t like I would see her again, right?
To my surprise, when I walked into my first journalism class, who do I see but this 6-foot girl with her legs sprawled out in the front of the classroom? As it turns out, we both also joined The Temple News as freelancers and soon became beat reporters.
I didn’t know it then but I was going to spend the next three years working by her side.
In Fall 2019, the beginning of our sophomore year, we became Features editors together, and I got to see Madison in a new light. She was commanding, yet relatable and friendly. As the year went on, we became closer, sharing music tastes on a bus to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, laughing loudly in a quiet newsroom and helping each other grow as writers and editors.
By the end of the Spring 2020 semester, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to return to The Temple News. I talked to Madison and she said she was going to apply to be Editor-in-Chief, and suggested that I consider reapplying for staff. While I wasn’t sure whether I was capable of helping lead an entire newspaper, I thought why not?
Today, I’m so happy I did because I got the opportunity to work alongside Madison once again.
From the first day I met her, I knew she was different.
She had a dominating air about her; she could command a room without making anyone else feel small. While I was technically her managing assistant, I felt like I had as much control over the paper as she did. I didn’t hide away during meetings; I ran them. If we disagreed on something, we could have a conversation about it, and she listened to me. Under Madison, my input and my voice mattered.
This year, we worked on two publications together: 14th Street Magazine and The Temple News. Once again, I was impressed by her leadership skills because she’s someone who knows what she wants. She’s Miss Vision.
I’m so proud to see how far Madison has come, from never reporting a story to becoming an award-winning journalist. It’s been an honor to work with someone as driven as she is, and I can’t wait to see what she’ll do in the future, hopefully with me by her side.
All I know is I’m lucky to have spent my time in college with someone so inspiring.
Madison: you’re my close friend, my editor and someone I can laugh with until 4 a.m. on a production Monday. You’re everything I’ve ever wanted to be, and knowing you has been the greatest gift I’ve ever received. I love you.