Belinson: This is goodbye


Image Courtesy of Matt Belinson

Matt Belinson has worked at the Iowa State Daily for four years and pens his senior goodbye.

Matt Belinson

I remember walking up the steps of Roberts Hall in tears, breaking down in a way I’ve never felt before.

My back was to my parents and theirs to mine. They walked down the winding sidewalk to the car. I headed up the stairs of my new dorm. All three of us were emotionally drained.

Aug. 14, 2018: the day my parents dropped me off at Iowa State.

We said goodbye, and I tried my best to walk back up to my new dorm room with my head held high. Yeah right.

My main support system was gone, handing me off to the next chapter. What was I supposed to do now?

I had no other choice but to embark on a journey on my own and start over. In those moments up the stairs and the weeks that followed, I thought this was the end of all the fun life had to offer. Adulthood was here, and I had to grow up and find my path.

Turns out, it was just the beginning of some of the greatest years of my life.

I don’t remember exactly when my first day stepping inside the Iowa State Daily was; I just remember it always being there.

In a few short months on campus, the trek up Lincoln Way towards the Kingland building became my favorite part of the week. Friendly faces and the organized panic inside the newsroom inspired me. I wanted to be like the editors.

But everyone starts somewhere. I began my Daily journey on the men’s golf beat, admittedly learning on the fly about the intricacies of the sport, as well as how I could stand out to my editors. I wrote features way past the required word count, walked over an hour to the facility in the pouring rain before I got introduced to CyRide (true story) and reaffirmed my love for sports reporting. After my first year at the Daily, I was given the opportunity to become assistant sports editor, and I never looked back.

But I’m not going to lie, walking into a room of seasoned reporters covering Iowa State football and men’s basketball was intimidating. I could tell I was the small fry in the room. My questions (when I mustered the courage to ask them) went on way too long.

I thought I didn’t belong. I was caught in the middle of wanting to make an impact while also sitting quietly in the corner while the “real” reporters did the work.

But, like always, the Daily made me believe in myself. It became my support system.

I looked at editors — who would become friends — constantly. They let me know my work was valued and had an impact. Day after day, I’d come up with more story ideas and stay focused on building credibility. I took those affirmations and turned them into drive.

I loved telling stories about the action behind-the-scenes and the journeys behind the public personas of Iowa State athletes. The more I did it, the more I realized that they were right. I could do this.

My second year covering football and men’s basketball went better.

I asked more questions and built relationships with fellow beat writers. My confidence and writing skills grew. 

And this August, I became sports editor for the Iowa State Daily. It still sounds weird to say that I did that.

The Daily made that possible. If you would have told 2019 Matt that he’d be the sports editor for the Iowa State Daily and found his confidence, he’d probably crack his voice and tell you you’re dead wrong.

But the Daily allowed me to become the journalist I am today. It’s more than a workplace; it’s a lifelong family who’s always there when you need them.

I now know this is what I’m meant to do. Typing that feels so good.

And it’s crazy that four years have passed. But now, it’s time to say goodbye to this second home. This is my last byline for the Iowa State Daily.

Thank you for reading and valuing the hard work of student journalists. I’ve been blessed to do this job for as long as I have.

I’m ready for whatever comes next.