A Letter from the Editor: Thank You!


Mitchell Mercer. ©Cassie Nichols/PC Marketing

Mitchell Mercer, Editor-in-Chief

It’s been a long ride.

Close to four years ago, I was moving in on the first floor of Clinton Hall with my parents, my younger sister, and her boyfriend helping me along to get settled into my dorm room. I was officially starting college.

There were so many things going on in my mind during that time, and I felt these would be the main expectations of my college experience: the best four years of my life, I would do this, I would do that, everything will come to my doorsteps, and so on.

On the contrary, though, it actually was the hardest four years of my life. 

For the first couple of weeks, the reality of college hit me in the face. My classes were really challenging, the things that I wanted to happen didn’t work out in my favor, and comparing Clinton to the fast-growing town in South Carolina that I grew up in, I already was missing my pre-college life.

Even to this day, I remember it like yesterday, sitting in my dorm room in Clinton Hall with the air conditioning feeling like the Sierra Desert, leaving the windows open, eating some chicken wings from Fatz, and saying to myself: “God, this sucks. Can things get any better?”

Not to mention that the COVID-19 pandemic occurred, forcing college to be like a remote job for nearly two years before everything went back to normal.

Fortunately, though, I found that solution with a BlueStocking staff meeting email in the spring of 2020 and decided to attend a staff meeting right before we were all sent home due to COVID-19. 

And soon enough, being a part of this organization as a staff writer, sports editor, and the past year as editor-in-chief has been the biggest blessing of my life and truly has been the highlight of my PC experience.

I’ve always wanted to get involved with journalism during my high school years, but I didn’t make the commitment to do so. Fortunately, though, when the opportunity was presented to me at PC by a friend at the time, I decided to pursue it, and I haven’t regretted the decision since.

I have been fortunate enough to cover many different events during my four years, including PC’s first national champions in women’s wrestling, professors creating different ways to cover classes during the pandemic, PC baseball coach Elton Pollock having the baseball field renamed after him, and how inflation is affecting businesses in Laurens County. I’ve also had the privilege of interviewing the coach that never punts and a former Laurens County native that was runner up in the Miss America pageant ten years ago.

Photography has also been a new hobby I’ve picked up, and I’ve been able to capture photos of the Presbys award ceremony, various PC athletic events, and the 112 Musgrove opening.

Outside of The BlueStocking, BlueTube and WPCX have also been other student media opportunities which have included my own podcast, The Mitch Zone, and the production of the student-led broadcast The BlueStocking Live.

To say I’ve been blessed is a major understatement, and all of these opportunities have really helped me out personally whenever I’ve needed it the most.

Throughout my PC experience, there were so many tough decisions I had to make that I never thought I would have to, having to go through many moments of heartbreak, rejection, people doubting me, and coming up short whenever I worked really hard at something. This year has been one of the toughest for me personally and there were even days where I felt exhausted.

In spite of this, doing these various responsibilities has helped me tremendously during the trials and tribulations I faced. And the good news is that there were many more rewards ahead on my path.

In 2022, The BlueStocking won its first awards ever by the South Carolina Press Association. We followed it up by winning nine awards this year, including the Division I Collegiate Journalist of the Year by yours truly. Out of 14 strong schools that competed in the contest, we won the third-most awards. 

For me, it’s a very strong accomplishment that I’m very grateful for, especially given that our paper was on the brink of extinction two years ago. It’s also very impressive to stand out in a group of very strong South Carolina college newspapers, especially with several journalists that will go on to have successful careers in the industry if they chose to.

All of this leads me to my main point that I want to tell my readers, my staff, my faculty advisor Dr. Hamilton, the Russell Committee and its director Dr. Brent, and all of my followers who have supported me during this journey: from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Over the past four years, you’ve allowed me to cover various topics throughout PC and Laurens County and expressed your support over our content. A few of you have even brought it up in the conversations I’ve had with you during numerous PC events, and I appreciate that greatly on a personal level.

The only regret I have looking back at the last four years is not getting to meet you guys sooner or developing stronger relationships. Obviously, we all make mistakes and have regrets in this life when we don’t necessarily mean it by all means. At the end of the day, we’re human beings and not perfect.

Which leads me to two big pieces of advice I want to share with my readers.

For anyone coming back to PC or coming to Clinton to fall, be open to the opportunities that are presented to you, especially if they’re outside your comfort zone. I feel in life there are going to be moments where that opportunity is presented, and if you feel like it’s going to benefit you, take it since it may be that only time that you notice it.

It may be scary at first, but always remember that the reward outweighs the risk in those situations. And within this decision, additional opportunities could always open up.

My second advice is to never be afraid of failing in pursuing your dreams or goals that you want to achieve, and always, no matter the circumstances, get back on your feet and keep trying, even if there’s a bump on the road. The only downside to this life is that everyone is going to face trials and tribulations no matter what they want to do. 

As someone who has climbed multiple mountains and still has various others to climb in achieving my ultimate dreams in this life, I know there’s going to be both good and bad days down the road. But if you stay positive, have faith, be the best you can be, and work hard, I truly believe that good things will happen to people who possess those traits.

With that being said, my hope with this letter is that I can impact someone, whether it’s at PC or somewhere else, in the sense that everything in this life you want to dream and accomplish is attainable. You just have to be the best you can be everyday and not let outside forces affect you.

And as one last friendly reminder, thank you for allowing me to be your editor-in-chief. And for all you all graduating in a few weeks, take care out there. You’ll see me again in some capacity out in the real world.