San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Senior Farewell: Daesha Gear

Gear poses in her hometown for her final Daily Aztec piece on April 7, 2024. (Photo courtesy of Daesha Gear)

Words cannot express the emotions I am overwhelmed with as I write my senior farewell, aka the series finale of a Daily Aztec member’s undergraduate journey at San Diego State University.

Well, it’s finally my series finale now.

I have finally done it after three years, from Riverside City College (RCC) to Moreno Valley College, Palomar and finally, SDSU for one thing that mattered to me the most: receiving an education at a four-year institution.

Flashback to 2020 — a year that was met with challenges for many — 17-year-old Daesha, who was graduating high school virtually, was unsure of what to do with her life. I was conflicted with many questions.

Should I go to college? What even interests me? How can I be successful? 

I knew I had to find a plan for my future. 

I experimented with majors such as sociology, psychology and computer science. 

After discontinuing and swapping my major for the third time after computer science, I became discouraged from pursuing college any further. Especially when it came to finding a new normalcy with the COVID-19 lockdowns, I became stagnant with my life while also facing health complications with my body.

To recover, I took a break from school, and my family cared for me with emotional and physical support. 

Reflecting on my collegiate journey, I am glad that I took a break from starting school. It helped me discover journalism, especially in a time like 2020 where pressing topics like COVID-19, the presidential election and the death of George Floyd were covered constantly. 

Being exposed to journalists on TV and their persistence to cover such stories — using their unbiased reporting to discover the truth — sparked a fire within me. I wanted to be that person.

I remember running to my mother, with my PICC line in my left arm, telling her about starting my first winter course at RCC in 2021 for my new field of study (and for real this time): journalism. There, my career in journalism began, and I got to experience countless positions at different publications, such as being a reporter, anchor, assistant editor, intern and editor-in-chief. 

Through these different roles, I was met with challenges when it came to navigating journalism itself — a fast-paced environment that sometimes felt unforgiving as a student with numerous obligations. Some of these responsibilities included commuting from a long distance to SDSU as a full-time student, managing my academics and being a leader for others. However, I knew SDSU was where I wanted to be.

There were days that I would sleep in my office at 5 a.m. before class or a meeting to regain energy because I was sleep-deprived. However, what supplied me with the motivation to get through the day were staff members and editors at The Daily Aztec. 

Working with the publication for two years, I have met incredible individuals who have pushed me to achieve greatness and help others with editorial knowledge, although I am still learning. 

I have gained a community at The Daily Aztec, and I am forever grateful that I have joined the publication and taken it to higher levels with my editorial team. 

It is also humbling to reflect on the history I made during my tenure as the first-ever Black woman to become editor-in-chief, and inspire other fellow JMS students. 

In my final statement as EIC, all I have to say is this for students looking to advance their careers in journalism: break that ice and get involved at your school. Whether it is a newspaper or a club — it is worth it. Education is powerful and I will never take it for granted.

Your success is possible, and it starts by creating that “yes” and believing in it as it will take you far.

Now, in my cap to gown, signing off.

About the Contributor
Daesha Gear
Daesha Gear, '23-24 Editor in Chief
Daesha Gear is a senior transfer from Riverside City College. Before becoming involved at The Daily Aztec in the 2022 fall semester, Gear was involved in her publication at RCC called Viewpoints, serving as the Opinion and Assistant News Editor. At her community college, the Journalism Association of Community Colleges awarded her an honorable mention for covering a feature story on LGBTQ+ students at RCC. Heading into her final year as a Journalism-Media Studies major, Gear serves as The Daily Aztec’s 2023-2024 Editor-in-Chief, making her the first Black woman to hold this title in the publication’s history. Outside of her role at The Daily Aztec, Gear has freelanced for The Raincross Gazette, a publication in Riverside, and interned with NBC 7 San Diego as a Digital Intern. Daesha has also appeared in a story for the San Diego Union-Tribune and in SDSU’s JMS podcast called “Where Ya At?” In her final year, Gear hopes to continue broadening her expertise in technology and its impact on the ever-changing landscape of journalism. But if she’s not writing or handling matters related to the publication, Gear is probably watching basketball, horror films or exploring new cities.