Jane picked me up shortly after 7 a.m.
I was only half awake as she drove from my apartment off campus to the The Daily Tar Heel office about a mile away.
We trudged inside. It was empty save for a lingering sense of last night’s deadline pressure.
When a Skype call came in at 7:30 a.m. and a room full of The Lion Post staff appeared, I remembered why I’d dragged myself from bed this morning.
I love my job working for a college newspaper.
Jane and me are editors at the DTH — a newspaper with a 122-year-old legacy of being entirely student-run and also known for being the most decorated college paper in the United States.
Today, I was sharing that love with The Lion Post.
I remember the first time I met Eden, one of The Lion Post founders. We went for lunch in one of the canteens on campus while I was studying abroad at HKU last semester.
During that lunch, we talked a lot. Mostly though, we talked about this paper: The Lion Post.
Eden asked for my help starting The Lion Post. I met with her a few times after our first lunch together, and once with a small group of students interested in pursuing this ambitious project.
Founding members of The Lion Post matched my enthusiasm times two for The Lion Post — they were, and I’m sure still are, determined to build its own legacy.
If there’s one thing HKU taught me during my mere four months abroad, it was fearlessness — a trait I think The Lion Post staff possesses in spades.
Being in a foreign country surrounded by a language so far from my own understanding required a certain level of courage. I got used to telling myself, “If not now, when?” (Something a fellow UNC student said a few months before she lost her battle with cancer.)
My fearlessness while in Hong Kong resulted in four of the most memorable, exciting and rewarding months of my life.
But more importantly, your fellow students’ fearlessness in seeking to create a space for the university’s stories to be told will result in the most determined, innovative and trusted student publication in Hong Kong if you help it succeed.
I encourage you, the readers, to take away two things from this historic first edition of The Lion Post.
One is that your university, like every institution of higher learning in the world, has a unique story to tell — seek to tell it.
And two is, well, pretty simple: Be fearless.
Hayley Fowler is the State & National Editor at The Daily Tar Heel, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Hayley was on exchange at HKU during the first half of 2015 and helped The Lion Post start its journey.