I was never supposed to work here.
In high school, my parents sat me down and told me that I’d be poor and unhappy if I went into journalism.
I threw some garbage at them about being “interdisciplinary” and “having lots of options.” They bought it, I guess.
But after a few years of wandering around in the wilderness, I decided to be the only thing worse than a journalist: an opinion columnist.
I owe a lot of thanks to the people that made all of this possible:
Kelly Ward, for talking me into wanting to be a part of a newspaper, and for helping me handle all the stress and fear that came along with actually being a part of one.
My managers at Central Market, for scheduling me for far too many hours when the school year started and convincing me to quit.
Claire Smith, for letting me be a part of your cast of scrappy upstarts, convincing us that our work was worth doing and forcing us to watch “The Bachelor.” Your work made all of mine possible, and owe you more than I can describe.
Kat Sampson, for pressing me to improve my writing more than anyone else.
Davis Clark, for showing me and so many others how to be a great editor.
Mohammad Syed, for convincing so many writers with bright futures that they could succeed, and for chasing your own dreams.
Mary Dolan, for working harder than us, and for making us laugh.
Nicole Farrell and the rest of the spring 2017 Thursday night copy crew, for pushing me to be a better copy editor and letting just a few of my more terrible headline jokes through.
Kailey Thompson, for helping me find ways to become a better person, and making sure to sing “Hamilton” as loud as you could on every trip to P. Terry’s.
Jackie Wang, for being a better administrator than me, and running this paper in a way that always brought out the best in people.
Akshay Mirchandani, for pushing the Texan forward in dramatic and exciting ways, and for cleaning my vomit off of your apartment floor.
Peter Chen, for keeping me humble and helping me sort through an undeniably crazy year on staff.
Gerald Johnson, for not firing me whenever I didn’t submit my board bullets.
Janhavi Nemawarkar, for taking risks to become a fantastic editor and trusted voice for me to turn to.
Leah Kashar, for helping keep the Forum project alive and for leaving it to pursue crazier projects of your own.
Emily Vernon, for outworking the entire office despite Jordan and I doing our best to prevent you from working.
Jordan Shenhar, for keeping this job from feeling like work by not doing any and instead being the Toby to my Willie.
Noah M. Horwitz, for generating mounds of hate mail, giving invaluable perspective and generally not being a dunderhead.
Laura Hallas, for sacrificing a moment in what will be a long career of serving others to take up the mantle after me and far outshine any achievements of mine.
Sonia Woiton, for dealing with my inability to stop working even after I did leave my office.
Many more on my staff, especially my other associate editors, for keeping this office running when there was soccer on, finding ways to challenge yourselves and continuing to come back in spite of me.
It’s been my job to critique and prod at every administrative misstep on campus over the past two years, yet my love for the 40 Acres has only grown stronger. What it has given me I cannot even hope to repay, even as I hope to do my best. It is all I can do.
Thanks, and hook’em.
Chase is a Plan II and economics senior from Royse City.