Forum Editor’s last explainer

Jennifer Liu

You know how sometimes you pause, take a good look around and just wonder how you got there? Because I have no idea how I got here. All I remember is sitting in an airport lounge the summer after freshman year and filling out the Texan’s interest form because I had nothing to else to do, and nothing to lose. 

I ended up joining the paper that June, and then spent a year as an issue reporter. As an ex-premed, it was a way to keep in touch with my science-y side, while learning more than I ever thought I would. I learned about cutting-edge research and new scientific discoveries, and that pitches are the worst, coming up with questions is really hard and putting out even one article a week requires serious time management. 

But the best part of being a reporter was talking to some really cool people who truly love what they do, and turning interviews into conversations. They showed me the type of person I want to be — someone as equally passionate about something, anything. With this job, I learned about having patience, understanding and empathy.

Last year I switched to opinion, and forum ended up becoming home — certainly a stressful one at times, but still a constant, and something I always looked forward to. 

Forum I have to thank for: learning how to hound and pester shamelessly in the noble goal of fostering conversation and public discourse, discovering that people on and around campus are incredibly passionate about real and important issues and realizing the value of having different voices speak up. Also, the comment section on our website can be a real bloodbath.

To Julianne, thank you for being so kind and welcoming to a reporter who had absolutely no idea what she was doing. Scitech introduced me to so much. 

Molly, thank you for the snacks those late Sunday nights. You taught me how to look for ideas and people in places I never would have considered, and I can’t imagine having had someone better to learn how to navigate forum with. 

And thank you, Liza, for being the best editor-in-chief. Thank you for having immense patience while I struggled with InDesign, for not hating me Sunday mornings when I would told you no one had submitted yet and for dealing with my absolute inability to come up with coherent headlines.

Spencer, thanks for fixing said headlines and for being such a reliable honorary forum editor. You’re gonna kill it next year. 

I can’t decide how to end this, so I’ll just go with what I know best and, for the very last time, say:

As always, if you have thoughts on this topic or any other, please feel free to reach out to us at [email protected]