Associate editor finally escapes opinion office

Bella McWhorter

I typed HSM into Google Maps. I was headed to the Texan basement to try out for a copy editor position my freshman year. I opened that unwelcoming basement door, saw students sleeping on couches, poring over design, meeting at a ping-pong table and thought: These are the people I belong with. One week later I was not hired, and I walked around campus with rejection weighing on my shoulders.

But the copy editor position can be grueling for those who aren’t passionate about editing articles for eight hours. A month later, I got an email saying editors had quit, and I had a position if I wanted. I accepted. The following years left me with more than I ever thought I’d take from a job. 

With each semester, I couldn’t get enough — two semesters later, I was running the copy department. I was learning so much and meeting people every day who wanted to make something bigger than themselves. I immersed myself in the black hole that is the basement, and it was beyond rewarding. 

Taylor, Ryan, Kirsten — I could not have asked for a better team to make my term as copy desk chief full of kindness, laughter and a lot of poking fun. Michelle — being part of your copy family was an honor, as was watching your progress. Trent and Ty — your kindness made me feel welcomed even in the bro sports department.

Liza — it seems fitting that I will leave the Texan with you. You were one of the first people I called a friend in the basement. From being a designer and copy editor, to editor-in-chief and associate editor, I loved rushing to make deadline and blasting Taylor Swift or pop 2000 hits with you. I am forever grateful for you dragging me to the dark side of the Texan, if not for the invaluable experience, then for the people I met in the opinion department.

Angelica and Emily — I adore you both and know you will continue to make amazing contributions to the Texan. You both bring so much light and energy to our office. The columnists and I were lucky to have you. Tinu and Spencer — my OG fellow associate editors, I can’t imagine enduring such a hard and demanding semester with anyone else. Spencer, don’t burn down the basement next year. Tinu, you’re definitely too cool to hang out with me.

My Wednesday Crew: You both taught me I could find a home at UT. I will remember multiple nights of watching every Fast and Furious movie while working and, yes, still making deadline. I will remember making time for each other long past Wednesday nights. Liza and Akshay, you taught me the meaning of “I don’t have friends, I got family,” and as I leave the Texan, I am honored to say that about so many talented people.