Senior Column: Writer looks back on experience with storytelling, journalism


Mithra Cama

In a collage made on Picsart, senior Mithra Cama showcases highlights of her senior year. Cama has attended Prosper ISD schools her entire student career, and she plans to attend University of Texas at Austin in the fall. “I am super excited to take on this new journey,” Cama said. “I have never lived anywhere else, so it definitely will be challenging.”

A few years ago my brother uncovered a little black notebook from the depths of his closet, above his clothes, hidden in a shoebox. Bursting with laughter, he delivered the familiar-looking book to me. I cracked open the ancient artifact to find a series of poorly-written stories – in my handwriting, and the memories came flooding back.

I’ve always been a storyteller, whether verbally or in writing, fiction or nonfiction. My love for telling stories has been evident in many aspects of life, from acting to broadcasting, to most recently, writing in the newspaper.

Dressed as a cheerleader, senior Mithra Cama smiles to the right of sophomore Julia Thienvanich after acting in a play. Cama spent two years in middle school theatre at Reynolds Middle School. “It was a huge building block for my public speaking skills,” Cama said. “I was surprised I was even able to do it.”

In eighth grade I stood nervously, peaking my head around the corner of the Reynolds Middle School cafeteria. When I heard the cue, I took the stage, my steps echoing throughout the room. I stood blinded by bright yellow lights surrounded by an audience of students, parents, and community members while I acted as a cheerleader, hosting a series of tryouts. As I began to speak, the nervousness left and the lines came naturally.

Joining theater in middle school came as a surprise to many people in my life. I had often been described as ‘quiet,’ ‘reserved,’ ‘shy,’ and even ‘mute’ by peers, so many could not comprehend that I not only joined theater, but I was a lead in two plays. Despite some humbling costumes, this experience was something that allowed me to gain experience with speaking and confidence, pushing me toward my next path in broadcasting.

My first time being in front of bright lights since middle school came in the form of a studio sophomore year. Gazing into a teleprompter, my heart dropped as the room counted down. “Five.” I fixed my hair in the reflection of my computer. “Four.” I checked to make sure my phone was on silent. “Three.” I forced a deep breath. “Two.”  I smacked a smile on my face.

On the set of Eagle Nation News, senior Mithra Cama reports on the top stories. Cama was a member of the school’s broadcast program for two years, anchoring and creating reports. “It was one of the best classes I have ever been in,” Cama said. “It was fun, engaging, and a huge confidence builder.”

Broadcasting acted as a huge stepping stone in my growth personally and professionally. I built my confidence, broke down my fears, and reported live for the whole school to hear. From broken teleprompters and misread lines to uncontrollable laughter while reading scripts, I have embarrassed myself plenty on air. While mortifying at the moment, these mistakes only made me stronger – and created some funny memories. While I loved my broadcast team dearly, at the end of my junior year, I decided it was time to move on. 

Now, as I sit writing this column, I am surrounded by an incredible group of journalists, all working on something different, all working toward a common goal. In the newspaper class, my work has been like nothing before. This class has allowed me to pursue all forms of media, from podcasts to features, to video packages, to photography – all within the span of one year. While my journey with the newspaper has not been long, it has been impactful. One year has taught me so many skills I will use for the rest of my life.

I’ve been telling stories my whole life, but it’s not often I get the chance to tell my own. The past four years have taught me that in order to conquer your fears, you have to face them. Faking it till you make it really works, so if there’s anything you even think you may like to try, get up and do it. 

Thank you to Mrs. (Lisa) Roskens, Mrs. (Natalie) Merrill, and Mr. (Michael) Hatch for inspiring me, motivating me, and allowing me to face my fears and become the person I am today. 

Signing off,

Mithra Cama