Well, I knew this one was coming.
Four years may have passed by quickly, but I never could have imagined just how fast senior year could go. And yet, here we are, just two weeks from graduation. This From the Editor’s Desk will be my last.
I’ve told the story of how I ended up at this school a thousand times to prospective students, overzealous parents and even at my own extended family gatherings. I’ve perfected the art of telling it with all the necessary cinematic details — how I was supposed to spend these four years in a big city school, how I sat on the Civil War monument and cried to my parents about how badly I wanted to go anywhere but Ohio University.
I explained how the first week of freshman year, I sat in that same place and ate dinner with a group of newfound friends. Sophomore year, it was where I met my college sweetheart for date nights. Junior year, it was where I called my family with the happy news that I was receiving the scholarship opportunity of a lifetime. The tour group parents always like to hear about that one.
With graduation just a few weeks away, there’s been endless talk of bucket lists to check off, senior shuffles Uptown and goodbye dinners. There’s a strange sort of anxiety that you need to have the full Athens experience. You need to sample every restaurant on Court Street, to climb every hill to take in the full view of the town you’re leaving behind.
There’s no such thing as a universal experience here. And there’s no need to strive for perfection in it. Maybe it just hasn’t hit me yet. Truthfully, I was hoping that by the time I sat down to write this, I’d be feeling all nostalgic and weepy about “the best days” coming to an inevitable end.
Sure, these years have been nothing short of wonderful. Cleaning out my desk and leaving this newsroom is going to be a damn near impossible task. This is my home. It’s where I found my voice, met my best friends and learned the hard lessons of leadership.
It wasn’t a walk in the park by any stretch of the imagination. The 2 a.m. deadline to get the paper to press was, at first, exhilarating. But a person can only take so many of those deadlines before they realize it’s kind of exhausting. Running a newspaper on top of being a college student and trying to maintain a semblance of a social life is no easy feat — just ask any editor in our office. Still, it’s been a great year. A rough year, yes, but a great one.
And now, I think it’s time to say our goodbyes.
To our readers: Thank you for every kind-hearted email and handwritten letter and your willingness to support your local student newspaper. Without you, none of this would be possible.
To my staff: What a wild ride this has been. No matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to find the words to express just how much I appreciate the work you’ve done this year. Be proud of what you’ve created this year. I couldn’t have asked for a better team.
I truly believe it’s been my greatest privilege to serve as editor-in-chief of this publication. Thank you for the challenges and for the memories. Here’s to many more to come.