News department traitor says goodbye to Texan, now unsure of identity

Hannah Williford, News Editor

During my first semester as a reporter, then-news-editor and now-real world-reporter Megan Menchaca passed out Daily Texan stickers. I sealed mine to the bottom left corner of my laptop with pride. It was a milestone I had dreamed of, and it stayed with me as I traveled to protests, elections, debates, baseball fields and volleyball courts. I watched its lamination wear down from a bright burnt orange to its white base, with a barely-legible “XAN” appearing on the end. I, frankly, am worn out too.

The Daily Texan is not for the faint of heart. I recommend those who join adjust their sleep schedule to begin around 1 a.m. (but be prepared to wake up for the 8 a.m. breaking news), become master budgeters to cope with a salary that’s a maximum of $200 per month (I’ve worked out the hourly rate for that more than once, and let’s just say it isn’t pretty) and learn to enjoy the task of sending emails (and a few reminder emails after that too.) I also recommend, as Peter says at the beginning of every semester, to prepare to meet some of your best friends.

In two years in the news department and one year in sports, I struggle to think of a moment where I didn’t feel part of something. As a news reporter, I found myself under the wing of big sisters I never had in Emily Hernandez, Lauren Girgis and Neelam Bohra. Following in their footsteps as I became editor, I was greeted with new companions in Anna Canizales and Brooke Park. Brooke, I’m glad that somewhere along the way I unknowingly won you over.

After six semesters at the news desk, I finally tried my hand at sports. They are the only department at the Texan that has a TV, so I would say that was my main motivation. Aside from the cable access, I don’t think I will ever forget how I felt walking back from the first volleyball game I covered. I remembered all at once why I loved reporting. Five months later, I found myself in the editor position. I’m pretty sure I am the smallest sports fan to ever run the department, but thanks to the expertise of Nathan Han and Matthew Boncosky, it seems like we’ve muddled our way through.

Now, for just a few thank yous.

To Matthew, thank you for putting up with a semester of boomer jokes. I hope you’ll get to live the life of a 40-year-old man in peace now.

To Christina, thank you for teaching me essentially everything I know about college basketball. Waking up to your 2 a.m. voice memos always makes my day start with an interesting twist.

To Jordan, Ethan and Amsal, thanks for humoring me with randomly scheduled pitch meetings. You guys are fantastic at what you do, and I will miss you.

To my general staffers, I’ve loved watching you all grow. Keep reporting and know I’m always rooting for you.

To copy, design, D&I and anyone else who sits in the vicinity of the sports desk, thank you for putting up with what I’m sure was extremely annoying commentary from me all semester.

To Nathan, I’ll send your thank you in a text since you are apparently against the idea of 30 columns.

Lastly, thank you to the basement. I never thought I would miss a room with no natural lighting, but here we are. The Daily Texan is in my heart forever.