There’s a unique vulnerability in attaching your name to words, having them printed 7,500 times and distributed to every building on campus. Even though I’ve done this nearly 100 times in my four years here, as I sit writing for the Daily one last time, I can tell you it never gets easier.
But I sure have grown up since Emma Kinery assigned me my first story and set my world in motion. I’ve come a long way since being that shamelessly try-hard freshman: running down to the South Quad lobby to pick up a paper each morning, taking three shaky breaths before calling a source, wanting so badly to do right by the stories I had been awarded the privilege to tell.
In time, I became one of the editors who basically lived in this building, who finally found out what the heck MDesk is, who was pulled into the time warp that is making a newspaper, emerging at 12 a.m. with the distinctly shrill headache that can only be produced by the sports section’s playlist, and who complained about my job, but only because that was easier than explaining how I could possibly enjoy spending 20+ hours in the newsroom every week.
But it hasn’t been without sacrifice. By pouring myself into 420 Maynard, I neglected friendships, requested (and was denied) countless essay extensions, strained relationships and ceded many good night’s sleeps. I’ve stuttered through innumerable interviews, laid awake thinking about typos, cried in every room in this building, and somehow attracted the attention of Steve from Utah, who for a time left angry comments on each one of my articles.
But here, I found purpose and community. The work I’ve done at the Daily has felt more meaningful and productive than any other assignment I can think of. This place really is a means to make great change. If you have a story to tell, the Daily will listen.
I have no idea what a college experience looks like without this place, but I take comfort in knowing the Daily is evergreen. More women of color will take up space above the fold. More articles will hold the powerful accountable and give a platform to the overlooked. More freshmen will trudge up the steps of the newsroom bewildered, ambitious, and unaware they’re about to take on the most rewarding experience of their lives. I can’t wait to read what they have to say.
To those that made this place a home, Boo Boo, Kaela, Sophie, Matt, Maya and Riyah, you guys are some of the most formative friends I’ve ever had. Being a Senior News Editor was so weird and so wonderful. I still can’t believe we did that. It was so crazy and so special. We made a really good team.
To my dumplings, you’re truly the cool older girlfriends I always wanted to make in college. I don’t know who I would be if you hadn’t taken me under your fashionable, graceful, uncommonly literate wings, and I don’t ever want to find out.
To Na’kia, you’re something so special and everyone who meets you can feel it. I really can’t imagine a better leader or a more loyal friend. It’s me and you forever.
To the MiC staff, the work you did this year mattered. I can’t thank you enough for your diligence, your words and your hugs.
To all of this year’s managing editors, I’m not sure in what other context a ragtag bunch of individuals like us would be found in the same room, but somehow, it really worked. Thank you for being so fearless and fun in taking on what was probably the craziest learning curve we’ve ever encountered. The result was extraordinary.
To Finny and Maxy, as our very own Joel once said, “The Michigan Daily really has some of the best white men out there.” You guys are the best of the best. To Joel, we pulled off what we came to the newsroom to do: get canceled. Thank you for always knowing just how to make me laugh. Tuesday nights were always the best part of my week. To Maggie, for always being 100 percent true to yourself –– no matter how uncomfortable it made people. You light up every room you walk into. Just don’t go wearing too many skirts, especially in front of [redacted]. To Maya, everytime I think about our friendship for too long I cry, so I’ll just say thank you for growing up with me. I’ll be here from 5th Bush to beyond. Matt, you’re the best senior year homecoming date a girl could ask for. Also, I’m never learning InDesign.
420 Maynard, there’s nothing like you. Thank you, again and again.