Past photo editor finally comes out of (photo) closet, haunted by critique emails, corrupted SD cards, roaches

Julius Shieh, Associate Photo Editor

If someone were to take a look through the objects and thoughts that consist of my life, I don’t know what they’d find. 

From the outside, things don’t look amazing. At the ripe old age of 20, I’ve accumulated an assortment of joint pains, a hoarder’s collection of antiquated electronics and a worryingly tall stack of unopened toll bills. I might also have enough personal trauma to employ the average psychologist for a lifetime, but with my current lack of insurance coverage, that shouldn’t be much of a problem. 

But in between the scattered Slack channels and color-coded GCal appointments, I hope they’d see at least a fraction of the dedication I have toward this paper. Over the past seven semesters I’ve spent at the Texan, I’ve experienced countless highs and lows. I’ve gained so many experiences and lost so many lens caps, but in the end, I’ve realized how much I love this paper and the community it represents.

To Fiza, Hairuo, Kevin, Skye, Kaushiki and Tori, it’s crazy to see how much we’ve all grown and changed since we were general news reporters, and I’m proud to have worked with y’all.

To Kara, Blaine, Connor, Hannah and Leila, thank you all for teaching me so much about photography and editing. I couldn’t have asked for better friends and mentors, and I’m forever indebted to y’all for finally getting me to stop shooting aperture priority.

To Hope, Firdous, Angela, Juleanna, Sruti, Shez, Megan, MJ, Fiza (again) and Hairuo (again), I’ll always cherish the countless hours we spent under the harsh fluorescent lights of the basement. I don’t think I’ve ever met a group of more dedicated and talented people, and I’m so excited for all (most) of us to finally relax and touch grass at 5 p.m. on a Monday or Thursday evening. 

To Assad, Peyton, Lorianne, Joy and Alex, thank you all for making these last few semesters so amazing. I couldn’t think of anyone more qualified to run the photo department, and I’m thankful for all of your hard work and support.

To Casey, the best boyfriend ever and my favorite person in the universe, I love you so much, and I couldn’t have done this without you. Your support and kindness means more than anything, and I can’t wait for us to see the world together.

To my parents and family, if you’re even reading this, I’m proud of my work and of who I am. If you can’t tell, I’m very gay. 

And to the reader, I’m honored to have been able to report and serve the community that I love. To each person I’ve ever interviewed or photographed, thank you so much for sharing your stories. 

I leave this newsroom as a slightly different person than the 17-year-old who first logged onto a Zoom pitch meeting in a stuffy Connecticut bedroom all those semesters ago. I’ve learned, grown and loved so much during this time, and I wouldn’t trade my time in this basement for anything else.