I wasn’t supposed to be a newspaper kid. I did band in high school — very different type of person.
But then, as a first-semester junior who came home around 5 p.m. every day I asked myself — how can I make it even more difficult to budget my time?
Little did I know, that semester would become one of the most difficult semesters of my life. I’m not being hyperbolic. I dealt with things that I never expected I would deal with as a 20 year old. At every turn, it felt like it got worse. My best friend had cancer.
To distract myself, I found my place in the Texan basement. When I felt like I wasn’t myself, I wrote about identity. When I felt like talking to someone, I became an active listener in interviews. I worked hard to be a voice for others in my columns, even when I felt like I couldn’t talk about what I was going through.
When I needed a laugh, I looked to the comments section on my columns. Sometimes you need someone to call you an idiot to really know that it’s going to be okay.
One unhealthy coping mechanism later, in the spring, I became an associate editor in opinion. I couldn’t be more grateful for this experience.
To all the columnists that trusted me with editing their columns, thank you. Time and time again, you’ve reminded me that yes, the University can do better. Your ideas have been so impressive, and I’m inspired by your ambition to make UT a better place. Keep writing.
Abby — I love your ideas. You know how to find institutional loose ends, and unravel those threads until people get mad. I’m excited to see what you editorialize in the future.
Sanika — we started in opinion the same semester, and have always received about the same number of hateful comments on our articles, so you get it. Thanks for being so cool to work with, and for bringing me snacks. Keep amplifying the voices that get left out of the conversation.
Emily, dear Emily. Thank you for everything these past two semesters. Thank you for being the person I could turn to whenever I was completely and entirely worn out. Thank you for giving me a Cliff bar that one time when I really needed to eat something — you know the time. Thank you for being the person I could talk to about (redacted). You were always one slack message away and for that, I am immensely grateful. Please keep being your amazing self, and while you’re at it, maybe try being a little ruthless, just for fun.
Bella — I know you’re already gone, but every time someone leaves a wrapper in the office, I think of you. You’re the kind of person that’s so easy to talk to, and I love what you’re about. Tinu — thank you for being the best editor, for also being from the RGV, for being so cool, for validating me when I pitched about personal experiences and for telling me to apply for associate.
Liza — God. You are the most competent person I know. You were one of the best bosses I ever had, and the friend everyone hopes to find. I respect you like crazy. You pushed me to be better and stand up for myself, and you even stood up for me. I don’t know what you’ll accomplish or become in life, but I know it’ll be beyond my greatest expectations.
Now, Spencer. Thank you for questioning the bounds of this department. Thank you for wearing incredibly niche t-shirts. Thank you for keeping me around, even when you decided to change things up a little. Thank you for continuing Liza’s reporting on Hutchinson. Thank you for answering my countless design questions. Call me back next semester if you need someone to hand-write highly personal gossip columns that no one will read.
And to everyone else who has seen me through my time here (looking at you Tall Paul), as well as Peter and all the other grown-ups who keep this paper running, thank you.