Hardened editorial assistant puts down calendar, self-reflects

Antonia Gales

Editor’s Note: A 30 column is a chance for departing permanent staff to say farewell and reflect on their time spent in The Daily Texan’s basement office. The term comes from the old typesetting mark (-30-) to denote the end of a line. 

I sit down to write this with two finals to take tomorrow, a paper due and two more on the horizon. Needless to say, it’s not the best moment to reflect on my time at the Texan. Four semesters, two school years, countless afternoons and nights of design, editing, meetings, planning pages, failures and triumphs cannot be adequately summarized in the time crunch I face, not to mention the 600 words of space I am assigned. At press time, I will be a much happier lady. 

While my current state of stress tempts me to fill these lines with the angry thoughts, the frustrations I experienced working at a student newspaper and all the hiccups that come with such a work environment (including poorly managed payrolls, long and unpredictable hours and having to update the website while on vacation), I’d rather fight the urge and focus on the other, more positive thoughts in my head. But what else am I thinking?

I’m thinking I will really miss this place.

I’ll miss the people, who made me smile and laugh when I was stressed, sad or even heartbroken. I’ll miss the lessons they taught me, the trust I built with them. I’ll miss every time a coworker dropped what they were doing to let me into the basement on Sundays because I never got around to getting a student ID with proximity access. I’ll miss every 8:30 a.m. chain of text messages I received from Riley, not only because they made amazing alarm clocks, but because they reminded me I had a job to do, that I was important and needed and part of something bigger than myself.

I already miss, and will continue to miss, my time in the news department. I miss you, Pete. And Andy, I’ll miss being a part of the “A-team”. I’ll miss all you beautiful people in Editorial. I know sometimes we feel isolated (and cold), but I’ve had some of the most enlightening conversations in our fish bowl, and I wouldn’t trade my semester with y’all for the world. I’m thinking I’m going to miss you guys.

 

I’m thinking I learned a hell of a lot, more than I can write on paper.

I learned how to edit and design. I learned about how our University operates, what our student body is capable of and just how diverse and amazing Austin is. I learned how to truly multi-task, how to listen and remember and regurgitate. I learned how to stand up for myself and for what I believe. I learned to make sure that what I believe is well reasoned. I learned how to lead and how to follow (when necessary). I learned you can’t always expect the best from people. I learned that mistakes will happen, and recovery will follow. 

I learned I work with some of the most talented students at UT, and for that I am so grateful. I learned I am stronger than I thought I was, and capable of more than I used to give myself credit for. But above all else, my time at the Texan taught me that there is so much more for me to learn. 

There is so much more good for me to do. There is so much more good for you, my fellow Texans, to do. We’ve been given a great lesson, in not only how to make a newspaper, but how to affect our community. We leave our mark every day, with every paper. 

When we leave, we take each paper with us. We take what we learned from each other, every night’s memories and lessons. I have no doubt we will all do bigger and better things than print a paper every day. My friends, we already have.

That is what I’m thinking.

-30-

Gales has been editorial assistant at the Texan since January 2015. Previously, she has served as a copy editor and associate news editor.