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Life’s a Beach: Cherish your roots

When I first sat down to write this column, I had thought of some big metaphor to connect the way plants and crops grow to the way people grow. Something along the lines of how not all plants can grow in the same pot their whole lives, similarly to how people can’t. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I should leave the metaphors behind (sort of). 

So, I know that I am the reporter I am today because of my roots.

A lot of my success can be attributed to my upbringing and my family. Not in the way that I’ve got friends in high places, but rather that the lessons I learned growing up shaped me into a good (at least in my opinion) journalist. 

My family are some of the hardest workers I know. When I was little, I spent a lot of time at my grandparents’ house. I never understood why my grandpa worked so much back then. I almost always declined his offers to go tend to the garden because I was content eating my Dollar General brand Fudge Stripes (A.K.A the best cookies ever) and watching “Walker, Texas Ranger” with my grandma. 

But, things changed. I’ll never forget the first time he placed a 10-gallon bucket of green beans in front of me and told me that I needed to break them. It hit me that if I didn’t break the beans, we wouldn’t have enough beans to can for the winter. So, I sat in a lawn chair with my other family members and got to work. 

When I got older I learned that the bean theory could be applied to a lot of things. Tools and resources aren’t enough to get by; you’ve got to do something with them. I also learned that there are a lot of tools to life. 

There was one week where I complained endlessly about what my mom made for dinner, so rather than let me go on, my mom made me plan and prepare dinner for the family for a whole week. Dinner couldn’t be chicken nuggets, either, it had to be a true meal. That week, I learned to be more gracious than I had been.  

I have also never been the most patient. I want something done the minute I think of it, but that’s not how the world works. Luckily, my dad is there to remind me that I need to slow down and appreciate more. Sometimes you just need to go with the flow and let things work out. Good things come to those who wait. 

Even though my brother is younger than I am, he’s also taught me something: not everyone is the same. I love to run errands and he hates it. He loves to fix pit bikes and tractors while I would rather not. Although we can both relate to an extent, we don’t have the same prerogative and that’s OK. 

All of those lessons I learned in my little hometown came up again while I worked at The Post. As a beat writer, you can’t fear a little hard work. You’ll be given the credential to cover an event, but you have to be the one to go the extra step to make it worthwhile. Sometimes, there will be something that is urgent to you that won’t be urgent to someone else. Most importantly, not everyone you interview, mentor or work with is the same, so be gracious. 

There are over 300 entries on tied to my name. Not a single one of those I wrote on my own. They were all written with my grandparents, my mom, my dad, my brother and other family in some way because they’re part of what makes me the reporter I am.

I’m excited to take them — and now The Post — with me on my new adventure. I know I’ll learn a few new lessons along the way. I’ve got another year in Athens and a whole new world waiting for me. 

This is Ashley Beach’s farewell column for The Post after three years at the publication. Ashley is a junior studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk more about it? Let Ashley know by emailing her at

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