30: Associate managing editor, headline queen can’t write final headline

Megan Hix

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 basement office. The term comes from the typesetting mark (—30—) to denote the end of a line. 

I almost didn’t join The Daily Texan. Not because I didn’t want to — though as a junior, I certainly waited long enough — but because my future editor Matt sent me a rejection email after my tryout. 

Thank you for trying out for the copy department. I regret to inform you… Please try again in the fall. 

I was crushed. I thought my tryout went well, but I apparently wasn’t as versed in AP Style as I thought. The next day, however, I got a text from Matt: “Where are you?”

After sorting through the miscommunication, I learned that not only had I been hired, I was also late for my first shift. Thus began my career at the Texan.

After three semesters (and two summers), I can confidently say that working here has been one of the best experiences of my life. I learned how to dig for pitches, ask the hard questions and do whatever it takes to meet that all-important deadline.

From copy, I learned it’s the 40 Acres, not the “Forty Acres.” I know there’s a world of difference between a hyphen, an en dash and an em dash, and I think I’m better for it. Thanks to everyone in copy who edits the paper each night — you don’t hear it enough.

Then there’s my Life&Arts ladies. Danielle, thanks for letting me write and for welcoming me into the L&A family with such open arms. Here’s to many more Trudy’s margaritas together. Cat, you’re one of the best writers I’ve ever met. I can’t wait to see where that gift takes you. Elizabeth, I am so proud of the work you did this fall. We’ll miss you next semester! KT, thanks for the brownies, for encouraging me, for making the basement fun and, most of all, for being my friend. 

Kelly, you make my job easy. Ireland is lucky to have you. To our news staff: I can’t imagine a more chaotic semester, but I was constantly impressed watching you all handle breaking news like pros. 

Peter, thanks for letting us figure things out on our own but always being there to help — and for rigging Staff Olympics in my favor.

Ginny, thanks for making the Texan feel like home, for leaving the light on for me and for laughing at all of my jokes — Tuesdays were always my favorite.

Jackie, our fearless leader, thank you for picking me for this insane job this semester. As much as you care about this paper, you care about every individual in the newsroom. You inspire me to be a better journalist and a better person. 

Iliana, what can I say? Without the Texan, I would’ve missed out on becoming your study partner, roommate and friend. Thanks for being there for me always. There’s no one I would’ve rather had by my side — both literally and figuratively — while I pretended to know what I was doing.

I don’t know what my future holds in my final semester at UT, much less after that, but I do know that my college experience was made so much better by all of the hard-working, passionate, genuinely kind people I met in the basement. See you around.