I have to admit: I feel a bit guilty this week because I wasn’t able to be very involved with the planning of this week’s issue of The Post. Between illness and traveling, I’ve basically been missing in action for the past two weeks. But fortunately, I got the chance to spend some time in New York City this week on a trip with classmates from my business reporting class.

Along the way, we visited several news organizations headquartered in the city, including quite a few where I quickly noticed something curious: It seemed like everyone we talked to had some kind of connection to Ohio University. Three of the four professionals speaking to our group were OU graduates who had worked for campus media in some capacity.

And as we walked around one of the newsrooms, I couldn’t help but notice a few more familiar faces. Everywhere we went throughout the week, people were reminiscing about their days in Athens, asking how Pumpkin was doing, and bonding over favorite restaurants and classes.

I’m not one to profess much school spirit, but I am starting to get it. I’ve been to maybe two Ohio football games, and I think I might own a single OU-branded sweatshirt (but I’m also pretty sure it’s not actually mine). I slept through my first two Homecoming parades and have faked sick to get out of more than one pep rally.

However, sitting there in a conference room in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the city below, I was met with a sense of camaraderie. We were hundreds of miles away from Athens, yet we were brought together by the shared experience.

Maybe it’s just the holiday spirit kicking in, but I’m feeling especially thankful for moments like the ones I had this week. There’s an indelible power in the connections forged here, whether they’re the ones we make in the classroom, within our student organizations or around the conference table in a faraway city, long after graduation day has passed.

We try our best to write stories that everyone can enjoy, and we love hearing from all of our readers, but it warms my soul just a little bit extra whenever I check my inbox and see an email from an alumnus tucked underneath miles of mundane messages. They not only bring a smile to my face, but they remind me that — no matter where we go — Athens will always be here to welcome us home.

Lauren Fisher is a senior studying journalism at Ohio University and the editor-in-chief of The Post. Want to talk to her? Email her at lf966614@ohio.edu or tweet her @Lauren__Fisher.