Listen, I get it — I’m a loser.
I’ve been a big ole fan of The Daily Texan since I was a senior in high school (don’t ask), and one of my favorite things to do around May was read the 30 columns from old ass graduates leaving behind an era of great journalism.
I could go into what I’ve done here at the Texan, but honestly, after 67 whole years, I don’t really care. The clips, the experience — none of that matters. When I think back on my time in this smelly, dimly lit basement that doesn’t play enough Lorde, I think about the people I’ve met.
So, here’s to all of them.
To Bobby, Alexa, Jordan, Nicole, Madlin, Amy, Jackie: Thank you for being former staffers I could look up to, even when I didn’t know you. You set a standard for what the Texan can do for campus when it’s at its best.
To Sam: Thank you for taking a chance on me when I didn’t know how to write a coherent sentence. Well, I still don’t, but I’m on my way. I owe literally everything in my career to you.
To Wynne: I can’t fit everything I want to thank you for in so few words, so I’ll just say this: After my mom died, I wasn’t prepared for how much help I’d need in even the smallest situations in college. Thank you for being one when I needed a mom the most.
To Megan and Meghan: Whether it’s engaging campus communities or breaking news better than the professionals, you two have been my favorites on staff (don’t tell anyone!). The Texan has been — and will be — better with you here. You have long careers ahead of you, even if you don’t know it yet.
To UT-Austin: Thanks for giving me so many parking tickets. Don’t ever ask me for any money after I graduate. In fact, delete my email!
To my leadership team: Thanks for kicking ass this whole semester. I’ve been here since the Dark Ages, and man, y’all have been the best team I’ve been a part of — and believe me, that’s saying a lot. You should all be proud of your staffs — and yourselves.
To Kirsten: Your work to make reporters’ stories better — catching countless mistakes along the way — never got enough thanks. I hope this helps: Thanks for saving our asses on so many late nights. Oh, and thank you for the best front page headline of a first issue I’ve seen in my years here (‘cause freshman? Get it?).
To Claire: Thank you for always being there when I wanted to rip my nonexistent hair out over dumb stuff. You were also one of the best news editors we’ve had since I’ve been here, and I wouldn’t have wanted anyone else to run the department this semester.
To Peter: I never used to like constructive criticism. Good thing most of your critiques didn’t have any — just kidding. You really made me cry more times than I can count, but it made me so much stronger as a writer. Now? I don’t care what any troll commenter on Twitter says about me being a “talentless, liberal hack” (this actually happened) — you’ve built me up.
To Alex and Andrea: Alex, thanks for building the best digital presence known to any college newspaper in the country. Andrea, you’ve made management so much better, because you replaced Ellie, for kicking ass.
To Lisa and Tiana: The Texan won’t always deserve all of the work it takes to make it a better place, but our readers will. Always remember that. Thank you for striving for a more welcoming newsroom — I hope I was the leader you wanted me to be.
To María: Thank you for setting a standard at the Texan for what journalism in its essence should be: thoughtful and kind, but unrelenting. I look up to you more than you’ll ever know.
To Catherine and Ellie: I won’t say, “Thank you for being a friend,” because, one, that’s a Golden Girls reference, and two, it’s lame. Thank you for crying about idiot boys that weren’t worth it on the Taos hammock at 3 a.m., for skipping out on my drag shows because they’re “scary,” for always supporting me when I felt insecure about my talents, for huddling in the bathroom at Cano’s (and Paul’s) to cry about something dumb at every party. Thank you for laughing at my jokes and memes that made zero sense; for teaching me what it means to be a reporter, an editor, a friend. I’ll always love you guys.
To the future leaders of the Texan: When I started here, we were handed a strong paper by the cohort before us.
But it’s not my paper anymore — it’s yours. Some advice: Don’t be afraid to take risks and even fuck up. Believe me, we sure did.
My team set the bar really high, but I know you’ll top it. And if you ever need help or advice, I’m only a phone call away. Make me proud.