It’s ironic but fitting that this is my first and only byline in the paper.
Having my Texan experience solely in design and therefore never content-producing, I’d like to think of this 30 as the longest funny weather you’ve ever seen, which is also how I’m justifying its lackluster.
This started out as a means to an end, a resume-builder for my application to double major in journalism. The ends were met, I got in, but four semesters later I’m still here. The means ended up becoming the end, in that backwards but predictable way things happen.
Working in this godforsaken basement with mice, possums, sports department boys and a corporate makeover took this hobby into a passion, into a purpose, into an identity.
I couldn’t be happier with how my time here has been. Each issue feels like kin, and my roommates can attest to stepping around yellowed newsprint strewn like I’m a retired detective trying to piece together conspiracy theories with red string. However, the only conspiracy is just how special this place is. What compels any of us to stay underground to publish every single night in a place that didn’t have a running water fountain for three months? For me, it’s the following people.
To the countless leaders to guide me — Jackie, Michelle, Ellie, Forrest, Matt, Akshay — thank you. True respect among peers can be contrived but you all have earned it from me forever.
To the best senior design team that has ever existed, thank you for being better than I could have ever dreamed. Aaliyah, you are the definition of reliable. Clio, everything you touch is gold. Paolina, I am and always will be jealous of you. And Andrea, you’re going to go so far and you don’t even know. I love y’all, truly.
To the best reporter and tea-spiller I know, Chase. In a way, I’m excited for when the world ends because I know you’ll be on the front line covering the breaking news before we even know it’s news.
To my work wife, Rena. Thank you for being eerily similar to me. I still remember when we became instant long-term friends when I happened to cover that one shift, and I am eternally grateful. Continue to use your crazy talents for good.
To everyone’s secret guardian angel, Peter. I will miss your loving presence but not your burps. Thank you always for the words of affirma-chen.
As a sentimental, completionist piece of crap who hates change, I am surprisingly not as sad leaving the basement as I’d thought, because I’m leaving having had some of the best nights of my life. Sleepless nights, sure, but imagine trading these experiences for sleep.
I may not be satisfied or wholeheartedly agree with the University as an institution, but damn we sure do have a great paper (which don’t forget to recycle).
And for the last time, we’re all in.