Digital director sits at her computer all day, wonders why her vision is going

Bernice Chen, Director of Digital Strategy

Behold, my first byline for The Daily Texan! It also happens to be a goodbye, and it turns out that saying goodbye is even harder than writing a news story.

Over the last few weeks, I tried and failed many times to start this column. I have so much gratitude to express and no idea how to put any of it into words — truly a recipe for success. My mind hasn’t even processed the fact that I’m leaving the basement. I thought writing this would help, but…

I’m leaving The Daily Texan. Nope, still weird. Anyways.

When I joined the social media department in my freshman semester, I thought it would just be a fun side hobby. I ended up loving it more than I could’ve imagined. I can’t say I’ll miss social’s vampire-esque schedule, but I will miss the thrill and the laughter and the pride of seeing the work we put out. Of course, none of my journey here would’ve been possible without the people around me.

First, for anyone who worked with me while I was in social media: I hope it wasn’t too unsettling to see my Slack messages and instant replies at 3 a.m., I promise I do get sleep sometimes.

Sarah: You were my other half at the Texan. You are brilliant, reliable and the nicest person ever. Managing the department with you was one of the most fun and rewarding experiences of my life. Thank you for all the support you’ve given me!

Kaitlyn, Chloe, Sophia and Brooke: You are the best. Social would never have run as smoothly without your hard work, and I loved our synergy, from debating whether to tweet “cow” to scrambling to edit copy in the morning. I miss the #social-pstaff channel.

Nuzha and Katya: I will forever appreciate you for taking a chance on me. Thank you for teaching me the ropes and mentoring me. I learned from the best.

Mantra, Fiza, Phoebe, Megan and Sanika: The legendary captains! It amazed me every time to see how you kept the Texan running. I loved working with you and can’t wait to see you take over the world.

Everyone else I interacted with, even if I didn’t mention your name, thank you! The best thing about The Daily Texan by far is the community. The people here are intelligent, funny, kind, passionate, open-minded and so much more. I have no idea how I landed with this crowd, but I’m grateful to have been part of the beautiful choreography of this newsroom.

Writing this column is bittersweet, embarrassing and comforting all at once. To be honest, though, it isn’t really a goodbye. It’s more of a love letter to an experience that will stay with me until I’m old and saying “back in my day…” to bored teenagers. My brain flatlines just imagining what senior year will be like without the Texan, but I’ve overstayed my welcome. It’s time to move out of the basement and look for a new home. And catch up on sleep. Let’s do that first.