News Editor overshares the intimate details of her life one last time

Tori Duff, News Editor

As my senior year comes to a close, I’ve been thinking about the worn-in sentiment that college years are the best of your life. And while I certainly hope that isn’t true, I can say working at The Daily Texan will give the future a run for its money. 

In keeping with being Tori, I put writing this off until the night before it was due. But it wasn’t for the normal reasons; it was because I’ve been struggling to find words that are a worthy tribute to my time at the Texan.

I could talk about this newsroom for hours, but no individual word, anecdote or story could capture what it has meant to be a part of a family like this one. The Texan really is a family. How lucky I have been to find a place that feels like a home. 

How I got into the Texan is still a mystery to me — I applied because I thought it was just what I was supposed to do as a journalism student who definitely picked her major randomly. I recently went back and read my application story and just about had a heart attack.

Imposter syndrome is real in journalism, especially when you are surrounded by so many talented reporters. I used to dread weekly pitch meetings when I was starting out as a freshman and believed I was never capable of the things my higher-ups were doing. I even remember crying after finishing edits on my first story because I thought I had done so poorly.

Because of all that, the basement was a place I would come to and not stay at for a minute longer than required. It makes me sad to think I spent all of that time not loving a place I’ll definitely have a Hannah Montana moment for when I leave on our last night of print.

But then I figured out something cool: No one cares if you forget the AP Style for writing percentages — it happens. No one cares if you don’t get a single pitch approved one random week — you still have good ideas. What the people here care about is helping to make you the best journalist you can be, and the best version of yourself. That’s kind of amazing. 

I guess I’m saying all of this to tell you all that when things feel scary, lean into them and maybe you’ll find out something new about yourself. I did.

This semester marks my eighth and last at the Texan. And now I’m leaving not by choice, but literally because I can’t stay after I graduate. Rule revision, anyone? I don’t think anything but graduating could have made me leave the people here, because what has made every moment worth it was those who were there with me for them, and who have always known the right things to say. 

I wouldn’t leave my apartment on a Sunday morning to talk about bad illo ideas for anyone else.

So let’s get sappy.

To my wonderful associate news editors both, thanks for dealing with my Sunday scaries every pitch meeting. Kevin, thanks for making me giggle every time I see you and for being a genuinely lovely human. Hope, thank you for making my role a million times easier and for always sticking true to your opinions.

To my talented senior staff — Leena, Katy, Joelle, Rylie, Maddie, Ali, Ireland, Kylee and Vivien —  thank you for giving me the chance to be your news editor. While we all say it’s an honor to work for the Texan, it was an even greater one to watch you as you continue to discover your journalistic voices. Keep being a nuisance to UT admin in my stead.

To my general staff, watching you grow and develop over the course of this semester has consistently reminded me of why I love the Texan so much. Thanks for that.

To Mantra, Morgan and Kamryn, hello. I’ll miss your laughs and complaining about literally everything with you.

To Sam, Skye, Anna, Brooke and all my other news editors, thank you for encouraging me and dealing with all my nonsense. You all made me want to be a better editor.

And to the basement roaches, I won’t miss you, and I will still squish you. Be warned.

Now, for my final act at the Texan, I’d like to make a confession:

It was I who deleted the newsroom doc, or at least I’m about 95% sure it was me. For those of you who don’t know, that doc basically runs our lives in news. I realized it was probably me after pointing the finger at literally everyone but myself and by that point, it was too late to turn back. Sorry, lol.

I could go on forever, but this is already obnoxiously long, so I guess it’s time to put a bow on this chapter. It’s really been a blast, y’all. Tori out.