Senior send offs: Looking back on our editors’ time with the UNews

Meredith: I began writing for the UNews the second semester of my freshman year and now have been the online editor for two years. As the voice behind our social media accounts and webmaster on our website, my position has been a great learning experience, especially in this digital age. I’ve witnessed two great editors-in-chief lead the paper and have been continuously impressed by the editors of each section staying up past midnight every Wednesday night in order to produce the best paper possible. I know in the future the UNews will continue to grow, and I hope that with a new website in the works they will be able to reach more readers than ever before. In our world today the fourth estate needs to stay strong, and I’m happy to say that for these past few years I got to be involved with an organization supporting it.

Vivek: I don’t remember much from the first week of September 2013, except that one of the things that freshman me wanted to do was become involved with the student newspaper. I walked into the newsroom, and before long I was writing weekly for the news section. Everything seemed quite simple back then—school was a breeze, the newspaper was fun and I was on top of the world.

Of course, things aren’t always that way. My sophomore year, I was named Associate News Editor, and before long the difficulties of taking organic chemistry and molecular and cell biology along with the editor position exposed my naivety. I was reeling, and within two months I quit my editor position to focus on school. That was the most painful decision I’ve had to make in college, but as I look back, I’m glad for the lessons it has taught me.

I realized the importance of taking a little time for yourself every now and then. It can be relaxing to step back from everything, and taking school just a little less seriously helped me bring my grades up while still writing for the sports section—and now I’ll be heading to medical school next year!

I’ve also come back to the editorial board as the Associate Sports Editor, and I’ve enjoyed every moment of it. The good friends, the feeling of a freshly finished sports page, and even the late nights have become unforgettable hallmarks of my senior year. When I look back at college, I will look back fondly on the people that I’ve met, whether I met them freshman year or senior year. However, the University News will always hold a special place in my heart.

Kyle: A newspaper has many purposes: a source of information, a public forum, a history of the present. But in my three years as an editor on this paper one such use has always stood out to me: As a sports editor my sophomore year, I asked a teammate of mine—who happened to be an exchange student from Ireland—if I could interview him for a story about rugby. He said he’d never even heard of the UNews, but when I told him what it was, he exclaimed, “Oh, ya mean the school paper? I know that paper! I use it to stuff me cleats after practice!”

As the editor of a college newspaper, you get used to seeing your hard work being repurposed, often in ways you’d never expect. I’ve seen papers used to cover windows during sorority recruitment, or as umbrellas on rainy days. Every once in a blue moon, I’ll see someone reading it — but that’s a bit of a rarity. But the truth is, I’ve learned to enjoy seeing people appreciate my work, no matter what form it takes.

Running this newspaper has been simultaneously the most enjoyable and most stressful  experience of my life. I can’t explain or justify why it has come to occupy a central part of my life these past three years. It’s something I never expected or asked for (nor can I say I’m always particularly thankful for it). But I don’t regret a second of it.

I’ve gotten to write front-page stories, and second-page corrections. I’ve won awards and issued more apologies than most people will in a lifetime. I’ve met Ken Bone and Brandon Stanton. I’m pretty sure I’ve aged three decades in the past eight months. I’ve made some of my closest friends on this paper, working late into the night. I’ve also made a few enemies, which is not something I ever thought I’d get to say.

I’ve given my heart, my health, the last three years of my life and countless Wednesday nights that I could have spent at Pennies for this paper. But it doesn’t belong to me. This is a student paper, and it belongs to the students.

So go ahead: stuff your cleats.

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