Senior Goodbyes 2017

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 - 12:26am

The Michigan Daily Class of 2017

The Michigan Daily Class of 2017 Buy this photo
Katelyn Mulcahy/Daily

 

Tuesday is the last day of print publication for The Michigan Daily in 2017, and the last paper the Daily's 2017 class will make. Following Daily tradition, below the seniors say goodbye to 420 Maynard and reflect on the impact it has had on them, just as it has on thousands of students for the past 127 years. 

Anjali Alangaden, 2016 Co-Managing Design Editor

My lack of artistic ability has always been a running joke among my family and friends. My parents are both pretty talented artists, while I’ve struggled to produce even the most basic sketches. So my joining The Daily’s design section — the section where artistic ability isn’t really optional — was more than a little unexpected.

I’ve tried to figure out what exactly drew me to Design, as I initially planned to join News or Copy, but I still don’t know the answer. Maybe I was just too lazy to go through the application process for those other sections; but I’m forever glad that I ended up where I did. I became managing design editor somewhat unexpectedly in December of 2015, and was almost comically underprepared for the role. But, as has always been the case in my time at The Daily, I found myself out of my depth — and loving it nonetheless. This place and the people within it are special in a way I can’t explain, so I guess I’ll settle for thanking a few instead.

Shane and Emily, the number of times that I texted you in a panic because the server/InDesign/computer was trying to ruin everything is far too high. I would never have survived that first month without you!

Ava, I’m so impressed with what you have accomplished and always geek out a little when I pick up the paper and see your incredible designs and graphics.

Michelle, your freshman year, you kept showing up night after night  (even when there was nothing to do!) and I was so impressed. Your passion for design and willingness to throw yourself wholeheartedly into everything is inspiring.

My Photo friends, especially Amanda and Grant, thank you for always being ready to save the night with a picture and for listening to my many rants.

To the 2016 managing editors, you all taught me more than I could have ever imagined and I don’t have the words to express my gratitude. Thank you for sharing your passion and knowledge with me.

To the Thursday night crew, those nights where we sat around playing card games or listening to music were unforgettable. There’s no one else I’d want to watch the sun rise with.

Shoham, your patience, grace under pressure, and dedication to making the best possible paper was incredible to witness each night. I think of you often when the stress gets overwhelming.

Mariah, I barely knew you before we found ourselves co-MDEs. But we bonded over our love of Miguel and good typefaces. Thank you for teaching me to value my own work and modeling so many of the qualities that I admire. I am a better person for having worked with you.

Fran, it’s hard for me to believe how quickly you and I clicked. Whether it was tearing apart terrible designs or trying to pick the size of the new spacing box, I’m so thankful we had the chance to work together. Your quick laughter, passion for art and warm friendship are things I will always treasure.

I’ve never really come up with a good answer for when my non-Daily friends ask about the newspaper. Why spend so much time doing something completely unrelated to my future career, indeed. But how do you explain this place to someone who’s never experienced the compulsion to return night after night? It asks so much from you — your time, your skills, sometimes even your sanity. But what you get in return is impossible to quantify. All I can say is thank you.

Betelhem Ashame, Co-Managing Sports Editor

Everyone I know has a story of how they first joined The Daily.

It’s always pretty simple, but that’s where the beauty lies. It isn’t so much about how it happened. It’s about the glow in their eyes when they tell the tale of how it did.

It’s my turn now, and to be completely honest, I’ve struggled to find my moment. My time at The Daily has been a whirlwind in the best possible way, but sometimes, the details are lost in a sea of beautiful memories.

I don’t remember exactly how I joined. I just remember why.

I’ve loved sports for as long as I can remember, but growing up, that sometimes made me an outcast. Then I came here. And I found a community where I didn’t feel that way anymore. I finally felt what it means to belong.

The Daily changed my life for the better, and I’ll be forever grateful for everyone who played a part in it all.

Greg and Alejandro, thanks for letting me sit back and watch my first semester freshman year. I learned so much by simply listening. To that senior class, I heard so many good things about all of you. Thanks for molding my mentors into who they are.

Max Cohen, thanks for letting me come back my second semester and helping me along as I started out on this journey. To the rest of that class Zach, Simon, Lev and Jason thanks for making my writing so much better in those early days.

To the seniors before me Kelly, Brad, Jacob, Minh, Brandon, Chloe and Nate — thanks for showing me the ropes. I learned so much about the culture here from all of you.

Max Bultman, thanks for teaching me how special this place really is. You were right about everything.  

Jake Lourim, thanks for your endless encouragement. I owe so much of my success to you.

To my fellow seniors; what a ride we’ve been on together. Ted, I’m happy we finally managed to be on a beat together. Chris, I’m glad you stayed on Sports even when you wrote for opinion. Katie, covering soccer with you back in the day was so much fun. Maggie, we’re the best D-line tandem around. Anna, Hunter and Christian, you may not have been with us the whole way, but you all made your presence felt. Fahd and Sylvanna, I know you didn’t graduate with us, but you’re still very much a part of our class.

To the juniors Mike, Orion, Laney, Paige, Ethan, Robert, Jake, Matthew, Avi and Efe it’s your turn to lead the sports section now. I have full faith that you will take good care of it.  

To the sophomores Anna, Max, Ben, Sarah, Mark, Rohan, Tien, Jorge and Zach you have blown me away from the very beginning. The future is so bright because of all of you.

To all the newbies Ethan, Aria, Dylan, Jacob, Patrick, Maya, Jodi, Rian, Bennett, Akul, Stefanie, Delaney, Theo, Amir and so many more your journey has just begun. Cherish every moment of the time you have here.

To the 2017 managing editors, working with all of you has been incredible. I’m so proud of what we accomplished together.

Amelia, thanks for being the best travel partner in the world. You made all of our road trips worth the late nights and long hours. Emma, I’m glad you’re coming along for our last one.

Zoey, thanks for the early-morning chats behind the wheel. Katelyn, thanks for showing me that it’s never too late to make a new friend. You’re going to be a great MPE.

Alexa, I admire you so much. You are the editor in chief The Daily deserves.

Paige, thank you for taking charge in every situation. I’m so glad I know you.

Kelly, thank you for guiding me every step of the way. I don’t know where I would be without you.

Laney, thank you for being one in a million. I feel so lucky to have you in my life.

Rebecca, thank you for making my time at The Daily complete. I love you with all of my heart.

Kevin, thank you for the best year of my life. I know we have had our fair share of ups and downs, but there is no one else I would have rather worked with than you. You’re my partner, and that means everything.

To The Daily, thank you for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Thank you for helping me find my people. Thank you for helping me find myself.

Nabeel Chollampat, Senior Arts Editor

It would very “on-brand” of me to make this senior goodbye a bit, but guess what? No! I’m going to do this as unironically as possible. Let’s see if I can make it to the end.

News. News! Remember when I was on News? I, of course, do — it’s where I first made some friends at this brand-new, Midwestern hellscape. As a staff reporter for the patient, caring and all-around fantastic Amabel (thanks for putting up with me; it’s chill that we’re still on good terms even after I was, in all honesty, a very lazy News reporter), I met and befriended people who I still consider incredible friends — and also Shoham. Just kidding. Shoham’s the best.

To Ian and Amabel: thanks for being supportive, welcoming and warm to me as I figured out my place here. To Allana: I love that, in the past year, we’ve rekindled our friendship through a group text that Riyah responds to maybe once a week, because I love talking to you about everything. Both of you are like sisters to me—wallah, bro. To Sugerman: you’re one of the people I found (and still find) myself having the most fun around, and I respect and admire you so much. Please keep calling.

I feel lucky when considering my time here, in the sense that I got the chance to kind of jump around sections. After a years and a half on News, I found myself on Statement and I had some of the most fun on Tuesday nights I’ll probably ever have. I jumped in with a small group of people I didn’t know, and I emerged, a year later, enamored with all of them.

To Zoey, Lara, Shane, and Emilie: thanks for being, if only for one year, the best group of people imaginable. I laughed harder with you guys than I had ever laughed before; a long Tuesday night that bled into 2 a.m. has never been more fun. To Karl: you’re an honest and true friend, and I hope you end up in the places you deserve to be, with the people you deserve to be with. Thanks for choosing me, and thanks for sticking with me.

A quick switch over to Arts, my final destination at The Daily. I loved what I did there, and I loved the people I did it with. There’s a tendency to view Arts as this clique of pretentious, above-it-all snobs — which helped me fit right in — and, to an extent, that’s probably true. But I also got the chance to write and do some undeniably cool shit.

To Dayton: You are a truly unique individual, and I mean that in the very best sense. I can’t wait to see where you end up and what you end up doing. To Carly: I hate all men! To Madeleine: Keep doing bits. They get funnier when you acknowledge the bit. And add me on Facebook. To Natalie: Thanks for your trust and faith in me; I’ll miss you more than you think. To Danielle: “You are very sociable and approachable, qualities that are harder to come across than they should be” (lol). Thanks for being willing to rekindle a friendship that never existed in high school; I know we’ll stay close. And to Anay: You’ve been a brother to me through it all — a late one, but an indispensible one. Thanks, G.

And for those of you who don’t fit in a neatly defined box but still nonetheless shaped my time here, don’t worry! I still haven’t reached my word count.

To everyone who wrote for TV: You guys are perfect, in every single way. Watch “The Leftovers.”

To Orion: I don’t know where or how this friendship started, but I love it. Thanks for being a real one. *insert EMINEMOBAMA video here*

To Kinery and Rebecca: Thanks for being willing and accommodating to publish my stuff, the absolute worst content the Daily has ever produced, with both your names at the masthead.

And, finally, to Gen, who probably won’t read this: You’re no longer a part of this paper (RIP), but you will always be one of the best friends I’ll ever have. Thank you, so much, for everything.

Katie Conklin, Sports Writer

Within my first semester at Michigan, I tried out for three sports teams. I was amped to be a Wolverine, and wanted desperately to represent the block ‘M’. Whether at the varsity or club level, Michigan's tradition and the passion was palpable, and I wanted to be a part of it. I, however, was also cut from all three sports teams. Yes, it was indeed rejection that first led me to The Daily. I'm thankful for it everyday.

I remember sitting in my Baits II dorm room, pen and paper in hand. It was my first phone cover for my first ever Daily article. I was feeling confident, as I was covering lacrosse — a sport I know and love. Before the game, I had composed questions designed to impress the head coach. I wanted her to see that I knew my stuff. When I got on the phone with her, though, all I was able to do was stammer out a quick, "Uh, Coach, thanks for talking to me. So, how do you think the team did?" She giggled. They had lost 21-0 to Florida in their season opener, Katie, how do you think they did? I'm happy to report, it's been all uphill from there.

A huge thank you to the people who first made me feel a part of the Daily team — Jake, Max, Max, Zach, Kelly, Jacob, Simon, Ben, Jason and many more. I appreciate your professionalism, advice, and smiling faces more than you know. Fahd, you too. We are more than lucky to get to hang with you for another year.

To the young’uns and bosses that edit my Daily Sports pieces — Mike, Orion, Ethan, Jake, Max, Avi, Chris and Ben — thank you. I see the amount of time and effort you put into the paper and the sports section, and it inspires others to do the same. And to QB1, good luck finding a new Drag Queen next year. I will be cheering from the twitter-sphere.

Laney, Maggie, Paige, Anna, and Sarah, y'all are my girls. Keep being absolute rock stars out there, and keep those infectious personalities at the forefront. Betelhem, you are the kindest, most thoughtful person I know, and I'm lucky to call you a friend.

Kevin and Ted — what a duo. Kevin, to this day I still don't completely understand how it took us two-plus hours to get to Oakland University for the men's soccer game. We may have missed the majority of the first half and sent in our pieces using the faulty Wi-Fi outside of a closed McDonald’s, but I still look at is as one of my favorite Daily memories. December 1963 on repeat, of course. And Ted, you're going places. As for now, though, see you at the Jug on Sunday?

And lastly, to all of my friends I've made in the newsroom and the press box, and all of the newbies just getting comfortable in the Stanford Lipsey Student Publications Building, here's my number one piece of advice: stick with The Daily. Even if you feel you don't have enough time, or that you think it's odd that you’re a senior and still covering rowing — trust me, I get it — know that your contributions are still important to the function of the paper. We cover every sport, and we cover them all with quality. Stay involved, because the people that you can meet and the things that you can learn and the fun times you can have are all because of this place and these people. Through The Daily, you get to be an integral part of Michigan sports in an entirely new way. Embrace it.

Chris Crowder, Senior Sports Editor

I am glad to say that I received only one hate email as a Daily writer. The last line was simple.

Idiot.

I am not an idiot based on the reader’s standards, but I call myself one jokingly almost every time I head home from the Daily for the night; whenever I walk out of the Daily, and all the basement lights are off, I miss the final step of the stairs and trip. I whisper, “Idiot” to myself, for making the same mistake. I hope that nobody sees me trip. It’s similar to how I’ve felt about my feelings in the past — stumbling in the dark and not telling a soul about it.

The Daily gave me an outlet and a reason to convey my feelings in the best way I know how — writing. This place catalyzed my creativity.

But as I progressed through each year of school, I spent less time at 420 Maynard St. I attribute it to a mounting anxiety problem from high school that I didn’t start to fix until the middle of my sophomore year. My anxiety made me reserved and uncomfortable in crowded spaces. I forgot who I was before I started to break down. It took hours of counseling and rewiring of my thought processes and some medication, but I’m a lot better now than I have ever been before. I think that’s a cause for celebration.

I am sad that I chose to stop writing at The Daily after being both a Sports writer and columnist, but it’s what I thought I needed to do at the time. Sure, there’s hindsight, but looking back and thinking about what could’ve been will only keep me up later at night. Still, knowing that I ended my writing career at The Daily early is bittersweet. I never thought I would have such amazing experiences and meet such talented people that The Daily has provided me when I left Flint for Ann Arbor.

I’ll never forget one of my first stories about the women’s cross country team rescuing cats on the trail making the print edition for the first time. Or Jake offering me an editor position after I walked to The Daily concerned that I somehow made a grave ethics mistake and was getting fired. Or going to the insanely great National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in the underrated metropolis of Oklahoma City with the best softball beat in the country. Or Alejandro texting me 77 times to wake me up for the sports section’s annual Denny’s trip. Or having people telling me they liked my column. Or looking around the newsroom, seeing my friends, knowing that we’re going to change the world someday.

If I had to write a letter to my freshman sportswriter self, I would tell him to get to know everyone better and to break out of his shell. I’m still doing that. There’s so many strangers at the Daily that seem so cool and my friends in the newsroom are all people I want to spend more time with. It’s so cliché, but the four years fly by and everyone is doing their own thing. Sometimes it seems like there is barely enough time to look up. But it is imperative that you do.

There’s so many people I’m thankful for. From Emma and Rebecca who do more than I could ever handle to the service people working behind the scenes that keep The Daily clean, you were imperative to keeping it running. Thank you to everyone who edited my opinion pieces, my beat writing squad members — Kevin, Ted, Tyler, Carney, Brad — and Betelhem and my fellow senior editors Orion, Mike, Ethan, Laney, and Max. I’m forever grateful to the entire sports section as everyone has been so wonderful and has endless possibilities ahead of them.

And thank you to Lauren, Mom and Dad, Danielle and the rest of my family and friends who liked my Facebook posts of my stories back in the day.

Grace and peace.

Elizabeth Dokas, Co-Copy Chief

My freshman year, I set out from my dorm room in East Quad Residence Hall to attend a mass meeting at The Daily. Despite being an Ann Arbor townie, I could not find the building that houses the newsroom, and I promptly gave up. For a full calendar year. I tried again as a sophomore, after having an epiphany and plugging the address into Google Maps.

Fast forward exactly two years and two months, according to the ticker on the homepage of my Daily web account, and I find myself lucky enough to belong to a group of people somehow (or very intentionally) in charge of its production. We hire staff and give assignments and make shift schedules. We deal with interpersonal issues and stay up until the wee hours of the morning playing trashketball together. And I will be forever grateful for all of these opportunities and more.

I am also incredibly grateful for Taylor Grandinetti, my fellow copy chief, for sending late-night emails when I was too cranky to do so, and for generally supporting me. I am grateful for each and every managing editor, who helped me out in their own unique ways — even if they didn’t know it. I am grateful for each and every one of our editors, who took time out of their very busy schedules to look up people on MCommunity. I am grateful for our senior editors, who did the thankless job fact-checking for the same hours the chiefs work and for less pay. Thank you, Ibby, for gassing up my ego when it needed it, and sometimes when it didn’t. Thank you, Freymar, for sticking through my tumultuous and varied emotional states without fail.

Stability. It’s not a word commonly associated with journalism and within that beautiful contradiction lies the heart of it all. Regardless of however unstable we all might individually be (ranging from sort of to very), the paper itself holds stable. We print a completely unique paper every weeknight. I apply the same rules to every body of content. I see the same faces at the same desks every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. And for that, I thank you all. You’ve been the only constant, aside from my family, in a very turbulent phase of my life. And that is irreplaceable.

I will not miss spending six hours a night reading articles instead of doing my homework. I will not miss walking home at 1:30 in the morning in the dead of winter. I will not miss constantly receiving emails about conflicts that easily could’ve been resolved without my help. I will not miss the newsroom radiators, located conveniently next to my desk and either blasting or ice-cold, rendering it impossible to plan outfits for nights I worked. I will not miss agonizing over commas. I sure as hell won’t miss the pieces where I had to restructure a dangling modifier every third sentence.

I will miss bemoaning life decisions on the floor with our giant overstuffed teddy bear of a mascot. I will miss our beloved 50-cent Coke machine. I will miss watching sports throw things at one another, somehow a requirement for writing for their desk. I will miss the opinion couch, scientifically tested and voter-approved as the Best Nap Couch. I will miss walking into a physical community of engaged, passionate, talented, innovative sarcastic assholes almost every day. I will forget the quotes we’ve posted on the wall and eventually they will be taken down — probably because someone important is set to visit the newsroom and they’re entirely too offensive for outside eyes — and that makes me sad.

Because everyone who has ever worked for this publication knows it has this special quality, this unnamed atmosphere that distinguishes it as special from the rest of our long list of obligations. We dedicate our lives to one another and to this paper not because we have to, but because we want to. It’s certainly not because it’s easy; this job, in many ways, was one of the hardest things I’ve accomplished yet, and it taught me a lot about being a leader and an adult — even at times when I felt wildly underqualified for both. Especially if I was and am still wildly underqualified for both. The jury’s still out.

Perhaps The Daily is special only because we think it’s special. Every day over the past year we dared to commit to one another, to create the best paper we could, even when we didn’t want to. Especially when we didn’t want to. We dared to assume that we had capital-I Influence, never bothering to stop and check if we were right. We were too busy making sure our facts were right. It was enough.

Taylor Grandinetti, Co-Copy Chief

It’s difficult to put into words what The Daily has meant to me over the past few years, but I guess the best way to describe my feelings is by saying I have absolutely no idea where I’d be without it and the people it comprises. I’ve probably spent more than a thousand hours in The Daily’s newsroom, and I have no idea how or where I would have spent them if not at The Daily. After all, coincidence or not, I think I only truly started enjoying the University of Michigan once I was a part of its staff. It’s one of the few organizations on campus I’ve stayed a part of, and I’ve never once regretted being a part of it. It’s allowed me to meet so many amazing people, and I’ve grown as a person because of it.

When I came to the University, I constantly wondered how I fit into “the Leaders and the Best.” I didn’t have any experience being a leader, but The Daily changed that for me. Between my time as summer copy chief in 2016 and actual copy chief this past year, I have a full year of leadership experience, and I’ve found that being a leader is something that I enjoy and that has increased my self-confidence. From copy editing to fact checking to being a leader, I feel more prepared to enter the workforce now because of The Daily than because of either of my majors.

Of course, though, I have plenty of people to thank for making my experience at The Daily what it has been:

Hannah and Laura, I am incredibly indebted to you. Thank you for believing in me enough to hire me and then promote me to senior copy editor.

Emily and Alexis, it was a privilege to work under you in 2016. I learned so much from you, and I know I couldn’t have done this job without your leadership and guidance.

Biz, thank you for being a fantastic fellow copy chief. We accomplished a lot this semester, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with you.

Marisa and Ibby, you’ve made my job a lot easier, as well as a lot more fun. It’s been a joy getting to know you both over the past year during our late nights at The Daily.

Emma, thank you for all you’ve done in the past year for The Daily. I hope every boss I have is as great as you have been.

Alexa, thanks for letting us help with headlines and for always making us at the copy desk feel valued. I know you’ll do great as editor in chief next year.

Alex, thanks for making summer 2016 memorable. I’ll never forget the chair.

Finn and Elise, I’m so excited you’re going to be the next copy chiefs. I know you’re going to do great.

Lastly, to all those who have worked at the copy desk over the past three years, I wish I had the space (and time!) to thank all of you individually. You’ve made the desk a special place for me, one that I always looked forward to being at. We’ve had a lot of great moments, as I think our quote board evinces.

Anna Haritos, Senior Social Media Editor

This was terribly difficult to write, and I don’t think that 800 words could ever do my experience working with all of you justice, but I’ll give it my best shot.

I showed up to a mass meeting sophomore year with something to prove and nothing to lose — I wanted to reinvent myself. My time studying abroad as a freshman reawakened a passion of mine: writing. So I dove in head first, and eventually earned my stripes.

The first time I felt at home at The Daily was during managing news editor elections my first year on staff. In the midst of the elections, the news of the Paris terror attacks broke. The elections rolled on so calmly that an outsider would be oblivious that every reporter in the newsroom was following the developing story, reaching out to friends and looking for sources. I found my journal entry from that night that read: “Putting those horrible events to the side for just a second I saw that I was in a room full of individuals all on the same wavelength, all speaking the same language. It just felt right.”

I will always remember The Daily as a place I could call my refuge during my undergraduate years. From screw-ups to triumphs in both my personal and professional life, I have always felt welcomed back by friendly faces and open arms.

I’ll remember the controlled chaotic buzz of the newsroom. I’ll remember my first friend on staff (Laney). I’ll remember sprinting across North Campus through the pouring rain with Rebecca and Anna in our best dresses to get to the grand opening of The Daily’s digital archives. I’ll remember watching the 2016 presidential election results roll in until the early hours of the morning. I’ll remember beating the State News (13 years in a row now), and I’ll remember shadowing Brandon, and those who shadowed me…

Having been a member of News, Sports and Social Media, I’ve covered quite a few things: the Democratic National Committee, Central Student Government, rallies, protests (S4J beat!), swim meets and field hockey games. I’ve written about the history of the University, poetry for Statement and everything in between. However, the paper trail I leave behind as I exit 420 Maynard St. for the last time isn’t the most important thing. I’ll remember the stories behind the stories. The memories I’ve made, and of course, the people I met.

It’s easy to get sentimental, to just focus on the good bits; it’s also important to remember the rougher details. I’ve made a lot of mistakes within these walls, both in the realm of journalism and out, and the community I will remember is one that forgives, teaches and scolds. I learned that it’s okay to screw up, as long as you learn from it; after all, this is only a practice for life. During my time at The Daily I found myself in situations that stretched me farther than I have ever have been stretched, testing my strength as a person and as an objective reporter. At the end of it all, I got a little wiser, my skin a little thicker, and my writing got a whole lot better. I re-learned the importance of self-care, being kind and how crucial it is to think ten steps ahead. Lastly, I’ve seen my friends blossom as writers and people, and I’ve understood the meaning of “success is best when shared”; there is nothing more rewarding.

This senior goodbye isn’t final. I will probably be around next semester, but for the sake of tradition — I thank all of you for one hell of a ride.

Goodbye, and good luck.

Daniel Hensel, Film Editor

My time at The Daily has been defined by conversations both irreverent and profound, friends both close and closer and work nights (admittedly) occasionally banal but never not lively. I arrived at The Daily relatively late in my college career, but I cherish every day as time spent with the most caring, thoughtful, intelligent students our campus has to offer. Thank you to my editors for working magic on my writing, to my writers whose work was a breeze to edit and challenged me to improve our assignments and to Madeleine, a great partner-in-crime who always had my back.

I'd like to also thank my parents, whose passion for their essential work in journalism in the 1980s and their reverence for their mentors and co-workers in Washington, inspired in me a love of writing, storytelling and information. I'd also like to thank my mother in particular, whose love of film inspired my own.

Zoey Holmstrom, Senior Photo Editor

“How did I get here?” I’ve often found myself pondering this quote throughout my journey with The Daily.

I came to Michigan after deciding not to pursue photojournalism. When I heard about The Daily, I attended a meeting on a whim, following the cries of “Get Involved!” that echoed across campus. I never could’ve imagined the impact this newspaper would leave on my life.

With The Daily, I’ve found myself in situations that have prompted the question I opened with: photographing 3 presidential candidates, lying on center ice in Joe Louis Arena in its final year and narrowly avoiding being trampled by Penn State’s quarterback. Most importantly, though, I’ve shared powerful stories of teams and individuals through my lens that otherwise would’ve gone unnoticed. This newspaper has given me the opportunity to truly express my passion for photography — something I couldn’t have explored if I hadn’t stepped inside the newsroom.

Like the many teams I’ve captured, there is a team behind me that has cheered me along on this journey.

Ruby and Allison: thank you for giving me this opportunity — I couldn’t have started at The Daily without you. And to Luna, for believing in me enough to fill a senior editor position.

To the 2016 Statement team: thanks for providing me with the true Daily experience — countless late nights and laughter that frequently led me to tears.

Lara: even though I’m probably still not pronouncing your name correctly, you’re one of my dearest friends. Thanks for getting me hooked on green tea lattes and for your incredible friendship.

Brad: The Pink Game article will forever remain my favorite piece I’ve worked on at The Daily. I will always cherish the night we met in Crisler, I will always be grateful for your unique perspective and I will always be thankful for your unending support and love. I think I can finally forgive you for making me sit in the back seat between two freshmen on the way to the soccer game.

Mom, Dad and Jada: thank you for looking through my thousands of photos, and allowing me to go to a school where I could still pursue something I loved. I can never thank you enough for your constant support and love. And for buying my first camera; I know it wasn’t cheap. To my Grandma: thank you for always requesting my cut-out photos from the paper. This meant so much to me.

Thank you, Michigan Daily, for allowing me to pursue my passions, for providing me with a platform to speak and allowing me to find myself when I became lost.  

Ellie Homant, Managing Social Editor

When I think about my time at The Daily, the only way I can think to describe it is “surreal.” Walking in to the newsroom for the first time my sophomore year felt surreal—the high ceilings, the colorful election posters, all the people. So many people. I knew almost right away that this was a place I wanted to be. It was surreal to sit at the copy desk later that fall, while the process of making a newspaper whirred around me. It was surreal to see a post I made on Facebook get thousands of views. I felt like I was contributing to something important, something very, very real.

This past year as the managing social media editor, in particular, has been surreal. Possibly the most surreal part of it is that I have survived. It’s been surreal to work alongside so many talented, dedicated people every day. The Daily has pushed me in new ways, putting me in to situations for which I felt wildly underprepared, and forcing me to grow and adapt every day. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything.

To Emma Sutherland: thank you for taking me under your wing and helping to make The Daily a more friendly place to come in to. I learned so much from your leadership.

To Danielle Jackson: I’m so glad that we met and I’m even more glad that we’ve become so close. Thanks for sharing in my snark, and for knowing exactly what I mean when I say, “I want to look to the sky and understand,” even all the way from Minnesota.

To my senior editors, Molly Force and Carolyn Watson, and Kayla Waterman and Anna Haritos: thanks for helping to make this section work. I couldn’t have done it without you all.

To The Daily’s senior class of 2017: It has been an honor and a joy to work alongside you all. You are some of the most dedicated, hardworking, thoughtful people I know. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for all of us.

Yoshiko Iwai, Deputy Statement Editor

I never pictured myself joining a college newspaper. I came into college with my life planned to a T — my double major, my research project, my volunteering, the organizations I would join. Somehow, at some point — despite the course not counting for either major or even distribution — I decided to enroll in Jeremy’s English 425. And god, I’m so happy I did.

One thing lead to another and before the first month of school, I was joining News and shortly after, The Statement. I have Jackie Charniga to thank for sitting across from me in Mason Hall twice a week and nudging me to go to the Mass Meeting. I was so intimidated in that class with Shoham, Emma Kinery, Jackie, Rebecca Lerner, Lara — seriously, it was the hard core Daily team all in one room. So thank you Jackie for talking about The Daily every class, and then telling me to join News, and then training me, and then writing for Statement.

I am grateful for the news editors that trained me to be a reporter and go after the scientific stories I cared so deeply about.

The Daily has become such an integral part of my life that I ordered industrial newspaper holders that are usually bolted onto the back of office doors. I have a newspaper holder with all of the News, Arts and Statement pieces I’ve written, and then another with all of the writing from other staff writers that continues to inspire me. Thank you, to all of the staff and editors for being cognizant, passionate, global citizens — I am moved by the way you work.

I am so proud of The Daily. I tell my family in Japan, my co-workers in my neurology lab and my friends at dance all about it. I tell them about the writing, the adrenaline and how my world has expanded tenfold. But mostly, I tell them about the people.

Lara, I still don’t know how you found me, but I’m happy you did. I feel lucky and honored to be a part of The Statement team — you are an incredible editor and caring leader. Thank you Brian for pushing me as co-deputy; I look forward to seeing how The Statement grows under your guidance. Thank you Alexis for being our rock; even when the three of us fight over titles and cover images, you keep us together. And thank you Michelle, for your artistic eye, your passion for our magazine and your ceaseless love for Starbursts. I love Tuesday nights, no matter how late we stay, no matter how many Milanos we devour — I am lucky to have these memories to look back to.

And of course, Mom and Dad, thank you. Thank you for supporting me in writing and pushing me to integrate this into my future. Thank you for giving me the courage to write, even the hard things.

Thank you, 420 Maynard St., for being another home away from home.

Ted Janes, Sports Writer

I’ve been lucky to meet so many amazing people over the last three and a half years here at Michigan, and this story — along with all the stories I’ve ever written — goes out to them.

To all of Daily sports writers before me — Greg, Alejandro, Raj, Feldman, Simon, Jason, Jeremy, Tyler, Leland, Zach, Max, Jake, other Max, Jacob, Kelly, Minh, Chloe, Brad, Fahd, Carney, Nate, Sylvanna — thank you for teaching me not only how to write, but also how to work with others. I learned a lot from each of you and had a great time doing so.

To all the writers we’re handing the reins to, I hope I’ve had a positive impact on your time here so far. You all have done an awesome job, and I know you will for years to come.

Mike and Orion, you will obviously do great. Max, Mark, Laney, Paige, Ethan, Rob, Avi, Jake, Anna, Ben, Kennedy and all the others, I could write a bunch about each of you, but I have a word limit. Keep up all the good work, guys. Good stuff.

To all my senior classmates, we killed it.

Chris, the only two things better than the 2015 Michigan softball team were our coverage of it and the 2015 Florida softball team. Katie, Anna and Maggie, we wouldn’t have beaten State News for 13 straight times without y’all. Betelhem, you’ve done an unbelievable job inspiring our younger writers.

Kev, please clean the dishes. Other than that, you’re the man.

To everyone else I’ve gotten to know here at Michigan, thanks as well.

To the people I’ve gotten to write about, the actual coaches and athletes I’ve met, thank you for doing what you do. Telling your stories really is an honor and something I’m happy I’ve been able to do.

To all my fraternity brothers, I couldn’t be more proud of the great things we’ve done as a house. Ben, Slagh, Ham, Dobby, Tinky Winky, Clifford and President Hoover — just to name a few — thanks for bringing out Todd Jones. Joining Greek life was one of my best decisions, and I’ll always stand by that.

I’ve had a lot of fun with everything I’ve been involved with, from Ross to Greek Life to study abroad, and the people I’ve met along the way have made it all so enjoyable.

To Mom, Dad, Soph and Meg, thank you for all the support. Love, T.

And also to anyone that has ever read my stories, I really appreciate that too. My job has never felt like work, because to me every part of it has been so exciting.

To finish off, I’d love to mention one thing I’ve tried to always keep in the back of my mind. It’s something my ninth grade biology teacher told my class on our first day.

He said the best thing you can do in life is have fun. Study hard, work hard and live well so you have more time for fun.

The Daily’s sports section exemplifies that perfectly.

We do amazing work day in and day out, because we love what we do and the people we do it with. We don’t do it just to see our names in print or get more followers on social media. We do it because we think it’s fun.

We play loud music. We hang out together. We joke around. We maintain a culture that values growth and support, and also one that challenges us to be the best writers and people we can be.

We’ve covered teams that compete for National titles, Big Ten Championships and Final Fours, but at the end of the day, I think the best team in Ann Arbor sits at the two desks to the right when you walk in the newsroom.

That’s where you’d find all of us, the sports section, having the time of our lives.

Anay Katyal, Co-Managing Arts Editor

I didn’t come to The Daily wanting to be a journalist. I still don’t want to be a journalist, really. Truth be told, I remember (partially) entertaining the prospect of even applying to Arts because of a crush I had on a former writer I knew. Embarrassing, but true. As a result of my wide-eyed naïveté, I lugged myself to one of the few winter mass meetings The Daily was holding, and after hearing my former managing arts editor, Lauren, speak about what (in her eyes) it meant to be a member of Arts, I didn’t have any hesitation in starting the application that night. It's hokey to say, but it felt right.

If someone told me that I’d be taking on the responsibility of helping lead Arts only a semester after joining, I wouldn’t just balk at the idea, I’d probably nervously laugh at the very prospect. But, here we are. Thanks to this job, I cracked jokes with Lil Yachty, got called a dickhead by a major television actor, shared drinks with journalists I admire and had the pleasure of being a part of one too many belligerent experiences with some of the most fascinating people that this campus has to offer. I saw my friends grow and take on wild experiences for themselves. I had the privilege of having a platform to share my ramblings on “the arts” with those who cared to listen. Things could’ve been far, far worse.

Among the few experiences that’ll always remain seared in my mind are the countless hours spent preparing for this job with Natalie after committing to the harebrained idea of running a campaign together. You can’t forget moments like those. You’ve seen me at my worst and my most delusional, Natalie, and there isn’t anyone I would’ve rather had by my side for all the horseshit we’ve had to endure for this job. I’ll never not be thankful for you.

To the Arts kids who graduated before me: You don’t know how much I owe you for helping me feel like I was a part of something so early on. Thanks for giving me a shot, Mariam, Kathleen, Lauren and all of 2016’s senior arts editors. Thanks for trusting me for reasons I still can’t wrap my head around, Alex. Thanks for stymying my anxieties about the future, DePollo and Chloe. Thanks for enabling my pretentious ways, Karl — I had some memorable times.

To the Arts kids graduating with me: You don’t know much you’ve influenced who I am today. Caro — I don't know why you trusted a meek newbie with a B-Side lead a month after joining, but I’m glad it blossomed into the friendship we have today (and I love you for it). Nabeel — you’ve been like a brother to me; never have I felt crazy or alone about the things I liked, the emotions I experienced and the jokes I cracked after we became friends. Shayan and Danny — beyond being my spiritual guides these past few years, thanks for being a couple of good boys.

To the Arts (and non-Arts) kids I’m leaving behind: I never knew what unconditional friendship felt like until I met some of you, and I’m still reeling over the privilege. People I owe the world to, and reasons why: Matt, for generally just giving a shit about me and giving me a reason to keep on; Alexa, for the general sense of support; Shev, for the never-ending supply of love; Fraley, for lovingly listening to my ramblings day in and day out; Madeleine, for keeping our shared spirit alive on this paper; Danielle, for those days in L.A. spent ruminating, and for those nights where you were a supportive shoulder to lean on; Dayton, for the jazz; the Arts newbies, for making me feel excited about your future, the section’s future and for all the smiles and laughs during elections; Emma, for showing me a new world.

And to this paper: I dedicated a decent chunk of my time at college to you. There were moments I wondered why. There were other moments that emphatically answered those doubts for me. Joining Arts gave me a renewed sense of purpose, and becoming a managing editor only echoed that. It’s a sentiment steeped in melodrama, but it’s true. It’s what happens when ~70 people are bound together only by their mutual passion for all things creative and grand. It made my time at the University creative and grand. I don’t know if I did my job at the paper any justice, but I had a lot of fun doing it.

Sophia Kaufman, Book Review Editor 

I think the most important lesson you’ll ever learn about writing is that sometimes you’ll just never be able to express what you feel. Sure, sometimes hard work pays off — you remember the perfect verb, you stumble across a useful phrase that fits seamlessly where you need it to, you craft a sentence that allows you to convey exactly the glimmer of understanding you want. Often, though, you’ll bump up against the limits of language to capture and convey your memories or experiences, and you’ll just have to learn to make do.

And sometimes this is a pretentious way of saying that you’re staring down a deadline you had forgotten about. But I digress.

This is kind of what it feels like to try to write a senior goodbye to The Daily — something I’ve been vaguely not looking forward to since I realized freshman year that it was a thing we did — blinking at a cursor that’s blinking back. As hard as I try, I won’t be able to actually articulate what the Daily has meant to me over the last four years. And on top of the limits of language and all that, this was due yesterday and I have to work on my thesis, so — here is the closest I can get.

I’ve learned just as much from being a part of Daily Arts as I have from all my classes, and then some. Being the Gender and Media columnist gave me invaluable practice at sharing still-developing ideas about the nexus between art and politics, social mores, media, and more, and being the Book review editor gave me an opportunity to share a passion that has always connected me to some of the most important people I have — and, of course, a bunch of books. The Daily in general introduced me to some of the most interesting people I’ve met here, and taught me a hell of a lot about how to act like an adult without actually feeling like one.  

I also owe The Daily (along with whoever’s in charge of room assignments for the Residential College and the universe’s roll of the dice) for allowing me to collide with Rebecca: my introductory device into half of the things I write, my most thoughtful editor, my favorite person to enter a party with, the funniest person I know, my best friend.

Thanks for everything.

Christian Kennedy, Arts Blog Editor

I’m sure it’ll be said several different ways throughout these senior goodbyes, but I can’t even think about my time in college without going right to The Daily. It’s the first (and really only) campus group I latched onto in my four years and I would like to think that I’ve written some good shit™ but in reality nothing I have given The Daily will amount to what it has given me. Being an Arts writer and editor for the past four years has given me a community and an identity. I have met, hands-down, the most amazing group of people — people who have understood me better than I would have thought possible. Sharing art, opinions, drinks, cigarettes and more with coworkers and friends at The Daily has been the most intimate and rewarding experience of my life. I can’t thank y'all enough.

So Jung Kim, Primary Copy Editor

I like to describe my job as a being paid to read The Daily and to stay informed about campus happenings. Admittedly, I got a late start in this gig, and it was all my fault. Let it be known to all prospective copy editors that you cannot fix errors in quotes on the Copy test or on the job.

Four months later, it was well worth the wait. I am so happy to join in the craft of journalism and work here among friends.

Laura, thanks for being my advocate and New York Times mini crossword enabler.

Emily and Alexis, my lovely captains and chiefs forever, thanks for hiring me into this quirky community.

Levin unni! <3

Hi, Karl!

Seniors, juniors and younglings around this funky, wooden-window-framed newsroom ecosystem, I am so lucky to meet more of you each week. I admire your talents, trust you and will root for you.

Finn, my chief-elect and Berkeley-Yoop bud, good job and good luck.

Marisa, Ibby, Taylor and Biz, my Copy pals and superiors, strictly in the order of when I first met you, thanks for indulging me in the funniest and most mindless three-hour-plus chunks of my college nights.

Mom, my first editor and reader, I hope I have made you proud!

Emma Kinery, Editor in Chief

I’m not sure what attracted me to The Daily. I avidly consumed news growing up and enjoyed writing, but my high school didn’t have a school newspaper or any formal training. I saw The Daily on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” the summer before my freshman year and it seemed like the place to be — embarrassingly, I DM’d The Daily’s Twitter account, asking how to apply.

Now as I’m ending my term as EIC and graduating with intentions to go into journalism, it’s difficult to put into words what this place has meant to me. Most succinctly, The Daily has provided me with opportunities for growth. It’s forced me into situations — good and bad — I never imagined. Covering Obama my freshman year for the first time was life changing. I spent the day before stressing over what to wear and prewriting; as a young girl in northern Michigan, I thought the idea of meeting a president was ridiculous; I couldn’t believe it. I went on to cover him twice more, to cover all the candidates in the 2016 election, a debate and countless other political rallies.

It’s the absolute thrill of these nights that make you remember why you spend all your time and energy at 420 Maynard St. It’s the weekend I drove to the Iowa caucuses, leaving at 5 a.m. to cover rallies that day, spending a night and leaving at midnight after results came in, driving through a blizzard back. It’s the day before the election when I covered Obama speaking on campus in the morning, and that night with the final Trump rally three hours away, receiving press credentials at the last minute. If I left then by myself, I could cover it. So I did, and ran out of gas, called a tow truck, continued on, covered the rally and made it back to cover election day the next morning. It’s the weekend I took a bus with U-M protesters to cover the Women’s March in Washington. It’s the month I spent reporting on a story on mental health oat the University that created a real impact on campus and in the lives of people I love. I’ll remember these times as some of the most stressful of my life with some of the most idiotic decisions I’ve made, but they were also the most exhilarating. Journalists are supposed to be hungry, and with every opportunity The Daily fed me, I found myself hungrier. It provided me with a purpose and a community.

Becoming EIC changes your perspective. It’s no longer about me and the pursuit of a story and the thrill of personal opportunities, it becomes instead about maintaining The Daily overall, ensuring our legacy lives on, and I’m opening up as many opportunities for writers as I possibly can. This year we sent writers to Cannes Film Festival, covered every protest and game. I hope to read about them in future senior goodbyes.

The Daily has always been, and will remain, more than a college paper. The beauty of it is our independence. We’re confronting problems national papers are grappling with, and without advisers, we’re learning how to be strong reporters and editors from people only a few years older than us, if that. It’s hard. It’s intimidating, and there are days when it is not fun at all. We often take ourselves so seriously we lose sight of the fact that we are still learning. I walked into The Daily with no experience, no credibility and feeling like I was in way over my head. If you’re a young reporter, remember that all of us felt that way walking in here — it’s what makes The Daily so special. There will not be a time in your life when you feel fully comfortable, you shouldn’t, learn to overcome that in college. Thank you to Rachel and Allana for teaching me, encouraging me and for everything else. Thank you to Riyah and Sophie for being yourselves.
 

Rebecca, thank you for being the best managing editor I could ask for. Your strength and wit are unparalleled, and you’ve been by my side through the hardest nights. I hope I’ll have an opportunity to work with as great a co-editor in the future.

I am grateful to have worked with the most incredible class of managing and senior editors. Every night I am impressed with the content we produce. This year I pushed us to think bigger and take risks; I’m happy to say that paid off. I am humbled by each of your dedication. We made a full year of papers!

Erik, you’ve been by my side since my first day on campus. You have witnessed every meltdown  and every success I’ve had in college. I’m looking forward to many more years of tears and cheers.

Thank you to my Grandma Marge for reading all my articles and for her endlessly pride. And finally, thank you to my parents, for always understanding, and all your love and support.

Maggie Kolcon, Sports Writer

I was a hockey player growing up and I always considered athletics to be a big part of my life. Naturally, when I had to choose a Daily section, I picked Sports. It wasn’t until I shadowed Mike Persak at a wrestling match that I realized I didn’t know much about sports other than hockey. When I questioned him about how I was supposed to cover the match when I didn’t understand it, Mike told me to Google it as I went along. Apparently he didn’t know much about wrestling either.

It was good advice, because out of all the sports I covered — gymnastics, soccer, swimming and diving, women’s basketball, lacrosse and tennis — there were only two articles that received comments along the lines of “this author doesn’t know what she’s talking about.” Not bad. One of them was the first article I covered for the women’s basketball beat, where I confused free-throws and 3-pointers. Oops. I got better though, I promise.

The Daily has taught me many skills, like how to interview people effectively and how to accept criticism on my stories, something that was tough for me at at the beginning. My writing improved tenfold with all the tedious hours of editing, though this sappy goodbye probably doesn’t showcase it well. Thanks to all the editors for sticking with it; our section wouldn’t be the nearly as solid without your effort.

While I wasn’t on the sports section for long (just two years total) it was the single most impactful experience I had as a U-M student. Thank you, Jake and Max, for making me feel welcome as an awkward transfer student with no journalism experience. Thank you for giving me a shot to cover a Michigan football story. Thank you guys for trusting me with a beat position, even though I had never watched a full basketball game in my life.

To my beat: I love you guys. Sylvanna, I know you’ll be reading this from Scotland in some cozy

Michigan gear, hopefully with a glass of wine in hand. I always admired your ability to pump a story out quicker than anyone I know. Nate Clark, you were always ready with the facts and statistics. Thanks for keeping us on task. Ethan, I know you’ll be successful in whatever you do. Thanks for being just as goofy as me.

Laney and Katie, you guys are genuinely the nicest people I’ve ever met. Thanks for bringing some girl power to the section and kicking ass.

Lara, thanks for getting me involved with Statement. I don’t think I would have done it without your encouragement.

Emma Kinery, you’re a style icon with big things ahead.

Jordan Herbstman, great seeing you at all the Sunday meetings.

Kevin and Betelhem, I haven’t been around to witness all of your successes, and I’m sorry about that. I’ve been paying attention though, and I’m proud of you both. Thanks for keeping me in the loop and making sure I could #beatstatenews one last time.

Mike and Orion, keep it up. Our section gets better every year and I’m excited to see where you guys take it. Good luck finding someone to replace me on the D-line next fall.

Chris, I love everything you write. Send me your book when it gets published.

Kelly, Jacob, Brad, Minh and all the older writers that inspired me: thanks for being the people I looked up to, and thanks for reading what I wrote. A compliment goes a long way.

To all the young ones, The Daily is special. Keep supporting one another and pick up every story you can. It goes too fast.

Rebecca Lerner, Managing Editor

I’m rushing to write this. I was out singing karaoke until 2 a.m. last night with The Michigan Daily sports section. And I won’t have time tomorrow because I’ll have production at The Michigan Daily from 5 p.m. to about 1:30 a.m. But that’s what being managing editor was for me. Living, loving, eating and breathing The Michigan Daily. (The word sleeping was intentionally omitted.)

The production nights of the last year blur, but there are lots of memories I’ll never forget. Laughing with Emma as we shared stories from our childhood as we were getting to know each other those first few tumultuous weeks last January. Getting a huge bruise from playing some sort of sports game rolling around in the chairs, but laughing and continuing to play. How freaked out I got when I realized the ceiling of The Daily is SOFT. Talking with my fellow managing editors late into the night, and realizing how cool and sweet and funny and COMPLICATED every single person is.

At The Michigan Daily, we take our work seriously — not ourselves. This is what I told myself throughout the last year. Sometimes I believed it. Sometimes I took what we were doing way too seriously and got worked up for no reason. There were stressful, long nights and nights when I got too caught up in the day to day. I wish I could go back and tell myself to relax and to enjoy it because it does go so, so fast.

When I joined The Daily as a freshman, I joined the Arts section. I didn’t know anyone on any other sections — especially the sports kids, who were painted as the antithesis of the cool Arts kids. Now, I feel so lucky to have edited the sports section for a year and call the two managing sports editors, Kevin and Betelhem, two of my best friends. Kevin, you listened to me and gave me advice when I needed it most. Thank you for the drives, the laughs and for being patient. B, you are kind and gracious and a total inspiration to me. I love you both so much.

Not that this ever had a real narrative structure but we’re just going to go to a thank you list.

To my girlfriend, Avery — I love you. If we made it through this, we can make it through anything. But I’m so excited to have more time for you and I’m sure some of our nights next semester will be at 420 Maynard St. (all roads lead to The Daily). Thank you for being my role model, my inspiration and the light in my life. I have survived the last year because of you and your smile and the way you make me laugh. Thank you for everything.

To Sophia, my snuffy, my roommate — thank you for walking me to The Daily three years the first time. Thank you for listening to me complain and cry and laugh. I could not have done this without you. You are the best. I love you!!!

Emma — thank you for being the best partner I could have asked for. You are strong and always there for me when I need you. I’m so grateful.

Anna + RT —  Thank you for producing such incredible content and letting me read it everyday. Thank you for sharing your snacks. Thank you for all the hugs. It really was a good weekend overall.

Amelia —  I couldn’t have asked for a better person to vent to. You opened up to me and you opened my eyes. Thank you for being my friend.

To my other managing editors: Ava, Michelle, Ashley, Natalie, Anay, Jason, Emma, Biz, Taylor, Danielle, Bob, Dylan, Ellie, Lara, Abe, Alexa — you are so special and I’m so proud of everything we’ve done. I couldn’t think of a better team to have my name next to every day for a year.

To Alexa and Dayton and the incoming staff: I hope you find this place to be as much of a home as I have. You’re going to kill it!! Be kind to each other. Love each other. When someone looks sick, send them home. Let me know if you need anything. I’m only a phone call away — always.  

This is the place that I grew up over the last four years. I learned how to love myself, how to write, how to be a journalist, how to be a good listener, how to be a friend.

One last thank you: Thank you to my mom, my dad and my brother, Max. You listened to me and supported me and worked hard to keep me sane for the last 21 years. I love you so much.

To the staff: Enjoy it. Good luck.

Max Lubell, Senior Opinion Editor

Wow. My time at The Michigan Daily was a wild ride. I saw some cold takes and some hot ones as an editor of the opinion section. The hottest take of them all is how grateful I am to have been a part of The Daily.

Even after long nights of production — when it would feel as if I had been eaten alive by the take machine and spit right back out — I knew how hard saying goodbye would be. I don't want to wax poetic too much about my time at The Daily, so I will get right to it. There is so much to say goodbye to. Bear with me.

Goodbye, old couch. Goodbye, quote wall. Goodbye, old copies of The Daily on the wall. Goodbye, box of junk that I was too torn to throw out. Goodbye, InDesign. Goodbye, Apple mouse that no one used or liked. Goodbye, Christmas lights that I was always too lazy to put up. Goodbye, fridge that I never used, but was always excited about the idea of using. Goodbye, 50-cent soda machine. Goodbye, conference room bench. Goodbye, that one chair that is missing the wheel. Goodbye, water fountain, and thank you for adding a water bottle refill spout halfway through my tenure. Goodbye, old broken printer (I am so sorry you had to go, but I will remember you in my dreams). Goodbye, new nice printer (the very sight of you filled me with a joy I have not felt in years). Goodbye, groovy Arts section playlists. Goodbye, old dead flower on the desk. Goodbye, room filled with nice photography equipment. Goodbye, weird, old cash register in the downstairs conference room. Goodbye, bell on Emma's desk. Goodbye, television on the back wall that I never once saw turned on. Goodbye, coffee makers that I never saw used either. Goodbye, Claire's old quilt. Goodbye, poorly insulated windows. Goodbye, Alex the Bear. Goodbye, box of Expo markers. Goodbye, old books in the conference room. Goodbye, furnace that we never knew how to turn off. Goodbye, workflow. Goodbye, sexist mermaid bottle opener.

Goodbye, Michigan Daily family. You all are some of the most talented people this university has to offer.

Goodbye to our columnists, cartoonists and edit board members. Thanks for giving me a chance to hear and give fresh hot commentary every week.

Goodbye, Anu and Ashley. I am so excited to see everything you both accomplish as editorial page editors. I know the section is being left in good, caring hands.

Goodbye, Rebecca and Anna. Working with both of you was an amazing opportunity. I was blessed to find such kind and supportive bosses and friends in both of you. I know both of you will go on to do such incredible things in your lives. I always appreciated your guidance.

Goodbye, Madeline. Even though I am 96 percent sure we never actually worked a night of production together, what would my time at The Daily have been if it was not for you? Thanks for putting up with me on the daily at The Daily. You are one of my most thoughtful friends — someone I always know I can turn to. When we first met, during some edit board the first semester of junior year, I remember very consciously thinking: "That girl seems really cool. I wish she was my friend." Several weeks later, at our first editor training, you walked in and I thought: "Ohh, the cool girl is an editor too. I should be her friend."  It's a good thing I followed through on that. Don't know what my senior year would have been if I hadn't.

Goodbye, Steph. When I found out I would be working two nights a week with you, I had no idea how big of an impact it would have on my life. I had no idea that I would be working with someone who would, rather quickly, become one of my closest friends. Looking back on it, it feels as if our friendship happened overnight. I think that's because it was quite clear to me that you were someone I wanted to be around. I cannot imagine how the past year would have gone if our paths didn't cross. Working with you was a blessing. While I never did learn yoga, I still got so much out of all those nights of production. Thank you for being there for me, for being an incredible person and for being an incredible friend.

It was a good weekend overall.

Meg Mitchell, Arts Writer

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been writing. From short stories and dramatic screenplays to poetry and haikus, writing has continued to be one of the most prominent aspects of my life. When I was 10 years old, I published my very first article. A basketball backboard had made an attempt on my life and I took it upon myself to tell the story, all due dramatics intact. Of course, nobody actually read that article. Partly because, one, I was 10, and two, because it was printed by a news bulletin that never left my computer screen. So when it was suggested that I join The Michigan Daily, you can only guess why I laughed.

When I joined The Michigan Daily during my sophomore year of college, I didn’t expect the instant gratification that followed when an article was published. It felt euphoric. Orgasmic. Seeing your work, the labours of long nights and of scribbled out and crushed up sticky notes manifest itself on the page was beyond belief. With well-written articles came the praise of strangers while articles written with harsh criticism were at the mercy of Facebook commenters.

I started off as a columnist for the opinion section, writing mostly fluff pieces about coffee addictions and how the University kinda sucks when it comes to getting sick. Sorry if any of my professors or GSIs are reading this, but it’s so true. From those fluff pieces, I found my hidden niche as an Arts writer, where I’ve had the opportunity to interview for the B-Side and write notebooks from my own imagination. For as much as I’ve grown as a writer, there are people behind my journey, helping me through every step of the road. Let’s thank them:

To my parents, for supporting me throughout my undergraduate journey and reading me all those books when I was little.

To Anna, for pushing me to apply to The Daily in the first place and always encouraging my creative talent. You’re the best.

To Alissa. Words cannot suffice how you’ve shaped me, as a person and as a writer, over the past four years. Thanks for the journal — I’ll make sure to write in it.

To my sister Kellen, for reading every single one of my articles, though I can’t fathom why. Is it because I edit all of your class essays for you?

To Mel, for urging me to apply for Arts and sharing the same deep passion for the great and powerful Moz as I do. Bless.

To Katie, for posting my very first article on your Facebook as support and constantly calling me Rory Gilmore. I’m no Rory, but if I were, you’d be the Lane to my Rory because you’ve always got my back.

To my editors: Ben and Matt, for kicking my ass into a better style of writing and for taking a chance and hiring me. To Danielle and Nabeel, for being genuinely awesome human beings and allowing me to explore my creative freedom. To Anay and Natalie, for keeping Arts freaky and on top of our content.

To my fellow Arts writers: Thanks for the Sunday afternoon chats and frantic waves when we spot one another around campus. Whenever “Mr. Brightside” plays, I’ll think of you. All of you. You freaky emo kids.

I’m sure I’ve missed a few of you because there are so, so many people that I’m grateful to have had in my life, especially over the past few years.

Almost every time I’ve published an article with The Michigan Daily, I’ve picked up a newspaper, carefully creasing the edges to save the article for a later date. And now, as I’m sitting here writing this heartfelt goodbye under the orange glow of my many candles, I can’t help but think of that little stack of newspapers and of the articles I’ve left behind. Writing these little scraps of paper that people actually read — in an actual newspaper, nonetheless — has been one of the defining moments of my undergraduate experience. I can’t imagine a life without writing and 420 Maynard St. made sure that I never had to as an undergraduate.

There are few words to suffice for how grateful I am to have been a part of The Michigan Daily. So I’ll go the simple way: Thank you. Thank you, and good luck out there. It’s been great.

Lara Moehlman, Managing Statement Editor

Like any other college freshman, I was overwhelmed — scared, even, that I would never find my place on this massive campus. It didn’t take long for me to find The Daily, a convenient five steps away from my freshman dorm. At that September mass meeting, I could feel the buzz of production. It was special, and I wanted to be a part of it.

Looking back on the past three and a half years, I think about everything I’ve had the privilege of being a part of. I think of the City Council meetings I sat through as a freshman before racing back to The Daily late at night to finish a story and wait for edits. I think of Board of Regents meetings and monthly sit-downs with Schlissel. I think of watching Barack Obama assure Flint residents the federal government would support them amid the ongoing water crisis, and even the morning I woke up to find my article on the University’s decision to cancel a screening of “American Sniper” went viral.

I think of summer nights spent editing and leading production as summer editor in chief and all the Tuesdays spent creating The Statement Magazine. It wasn’t always easy, but I don’t think any major commitment is.

Long after I graduate, I already know the first thing that will come to mind when I think of college: 420 Maynard St. I’ll remember the 50-cent soda (not pop) machine, campaign posters and hilarious quotes that line the walls. I’ll remember blasting music late at night while rushing to edit and layout pages before deadline and the energetic buzz of production that drew me in as a shy freshman three and a half years ago.

To all of my news editors, thank you for teaching me how to be a reporter. I wouldn’t be the writer or the journalist I am without your dedication or example.

Brad and the summer staff 2016, thanks for an unforgettable experience and putting up with me playing Bruce Springsteen probably too much. You can’t start a fire without a spark.

Brian, Yoshiko, Alexis and Michelle: You guys are the best team of colleagues and friends I could ask for. The Statement Magazine was a special place where we told important, in-depth stories. Leading it and working with you guys will forever be my favorite year on The Daily.

To Jesse, thank you for your always being there for me, especially freshman year. I don’t know where I’d be without your compassion and words of wisdom.

Lastly, to Mom and Dad: thanks for making me email you the links to every article I’ve ever written the morning after they’re published. You always tell me I have to be passionate about the work I do. You never ever let me, an English and Spanish major pursuing journalism, stop reaching for my dreams, and I don’t know how to tell you how much that means to me.

Madeleine Nowicki, Senior Opinion Editor

When I first came to edit board, I was starting my sophomore year and I did not know a single person on staff. I was unsure of myself, my voice, my major and my beliefs. But I knew I wanted to figure them out and I knew I wanted to write.

What I found out during the course of that first edit board was that everyone there cared. They cared about the issues we discussed, they cared about intricacies and minutiae of policy and society, they cared about writing important stories that mattered and about helping students learn about bigger issues than during which semester to take Econ 101.

Caring is often also commonly known as giving a shit. That’s what this whole thing is. That’s what you have to do. And that’s what I’ve gained from my time here. I was intimidated at first by the uncanny ability to speak with confidence it seemed like everyone at The Daily possessed. I wanted to be able to be like them. Strong, confident, thoughtful and always questioning. But most of all, I just wanted to care as deeply as they did, about this place, this publication, this community, this campus, this world.

And here we are, and here I am, one of those people now, supposedly. I may be older and have more experience, but I know I still learn more from edit board and from the Opinion section than I contribute to it, and thank God for that. I’ve become more confident as a writer and been challenged as an editor. But most of all, I’ve gained incredible friendships and support from the people within the newsroom.

I am especially thankful for my fellow senior and managing opinion editors. Thank you, RT, for providing content™ at all times, talking through ideas and constantly advocating for your fellow women in STEM. It has been such a privilege to work with you and learn from you, and I always do. Your dedication and drive is unparalleled — a good managing editor overall.

Thank you, Anna, for your constant presence and passion. I don’t think I can think of someone who has put as much time into the section as you. When I talk about someone who really, truly does care about this place, I think of you.

Max, you have shown me how to be more confident and strong, while still challenging me to expand and question how I think about things. You also have been a great friend, and it feels like I’ve known you for much longer than just a year. You are the sole data point in the Venn diagram overlap of my friends and Iron Chefs who own large, ornate portraits of clowns, among other unique facts. I’m very grateful for you.  

Steph, you have shown me how to be more thoughtful and reflective, and helped me become a better listener. I looked up to you so much when I first joined The Daily, and then when I first started editing, and I still do today. Thank you for being a role model and a pal. And arguably just as important, thank you for showing me how to appreciate chimichangas in a whole new way.

Ashley and Anu, I am so proud of how far you have come since you were preparing for EPE elections, and I’m excited for how far you have left to go. You’ve brought a lot of new energy and ideas to the section and we’re better for it. You’ll do well. I think the key is caring. Don’t stop caring about this work or each other.

Throughout all of the ups and downs of my time at The Daily, one thing holds true: I now care just as deeply about this place, publication, community, campus and world as those edit board members did at my first meeting so long ago. We all know the nature of this paper is that it has turnover; everyone gets their chance to grow into it. It’s my time to move on now. Giving the opportunity I’ve had to someone new is something I’ll give up my spot for in a heartbeat.

Anna Polumbo-Levy, Co-Editorial Page Editor

I call my mom every time I walk home from The Daily after a night of production. And the first thing she says when she answers the phone is “Wow, honey, it’s late.”

I always laugh, but she only sort of laughs because she’s more concerned than I am that I consistently run on so little sleep. But every night, her comment begs the question that looms in the back of my mind (and in the minds of those around me): Why do I it? Why do I work a job that consumes roughly 20-plus hours a week and pays, on average, $1.50 per hour? I will forever be grateful to Rebecca Lerner and her efforts to give us each as much money as humanly possible, but I get up every day excited to go to The Daily, for so much more than what I earn.

I came into The Daily my freshman year, having written a total of two stories for my high school paper — one about a school play I almost fell asleep watching, and another about farmed versus fresh fish, where I interviewed a fisherman who’d come to our marine ecology class. 

I joined Opinion and Sports simultaneously, but even though my place ended up being in Opinion, I have come to know many amazing people in all corners of the newsroom. Even though, in the first few weeks, I sat silent on the floor during edit board, too scared to speak to a room full of brilliant minds, I instantly knew that I’d found my home away from home. And in these past 3.5 years, most of my most cherished memories are wrapped up in the corners of this newsroom.  

After attending only a few meetings at The Daily, other staffers would say hello and embrace me wholeheartedly. I was encouraged to speak up without fear of judgement. I was given a voice and supported in achieving my goals. Standing up there at elections, trying to persuade over 200 people why I was capable of being an editorial page editor was one of the hardest, scariest things I have ever done. Yet, in the end, it was so rewarding. Thank you to everyone at The Michigan Daily for believing in me enough to let me up there.

And it was also here that I made friends I know I’ll keep for life. As a freshman, upperclassmen took me under their wing, showed me the ropes of the newsroom and made me comfortable at a school where I was 2,345 miles from home and knew only two other kids from my high school. To Mary Kate, Aarica, Claire, Matt, Lev and Derek — thank you for being those people.  

Steph, in the tradition of running with the same joke for the past 3.5 years, there is no one I would rather have taken all my classes with, done all my extracurriculars with. It has been the greatest gift to have had you as a friend.

Regan and Claire, thank you for being the best teachers and friends. Your phenomenal leadership helped convince me that I wanted this job.

Rebecca, or RT as I always call you, I have been so lucky to have you as my co-editorial page editor. You’ve taught me so much about how to take things in stride and have helped show me what real teamwork is.

To my five senior editors, you have all been part of what has made my job as an editorial page editor so amazing, and I will be forever grateful for your friendship and all the hard work you’ve always put in to making Opinion great.

Rebecca Lerner, though our time together started our freshman year, it has been a gift to have gotten closer to you this past year. Thanks for all of your support and advice, and for being one of the most fashionable people whom I always wish I could emulate but never dare tried.  

Alexa, there are few people as hard-working and dedicated to everything they do as you are, and it has been such a joy to have you as not only a fellow managing editor, but also as a close friend who’s always down to sing as if nobody’s listening and dance as if nobody’s watching.

Amelia, Michelle and Emma — thank you for the endless laughs, positivity and support during the best and worst of times.  

And to all the other managing editors I have worked alongside this past year, it has been one hell of a ride and I couldn’t have imagined it with a better group of people. I am so grateful I had the chance to get to know each one of you.

There is no doubt I will miss the newsroom, and my little corner, where I spent countless hours of my undergraduate career. But I know it’s a place I will keep in my heart forever.  

Ibrahim Rasheed, Senior Copy Editor

I remember one afternoon in freshman year when I was playing Ibrahim the Explorer I walked into the Student Publications Building and came upon this vast empty room with sunlight pouring in. The place looked powerful I can only imagine how lively it would be at during production. The next year, I saw the excitement as I joined as a primary copy editor, going on to become a senior copy editor.

Despite the many things poppin’ on campus, I never felt like I was missing out when I was at The Daily. The bonding over discussions on articles, campus gossip and the validity of peanut butter Oreos always made The Daily a fun place to be. I’m both glad and proud that I could play a part in such a noble organization filled with amazing people.

To Biz, Taylor and Danielle (TBT), thank you for being fantastic copy chiefs you all were supportive of me even though I’m often insecure as one of the few not-English/communications/poli sci/policy majors on the desk. Biz, I’m going to miss your insightful reactions to the injustices in life (please make a podcast). Taylor, your positivity, rigorous copy ethics and creativity writing headlines are all unsurpassed. Marisa, you’re the best cultured and humorous co any senior editor can ask for. So Jung, no one is better than you  at embodying the copy spirit. To all the Copy catz, I’m going to miss the wit and savagery. To News, Opinion, Statement and MiC, thank you for writing phenomenal pieces that I enjoyed reading. Special shout outs to my roommates Fahd Ahsan, sports writer, and Ibrahim Ijaz, former (barely) Opinion, because they’re awesome and because they asked to be in this.

It’s been fun times. Cue the copy desk anthem.

Kevin Santo, Co-Managing Sports Editor

I’m just gonna get to it — The Daily has been a family to me, and I’ve got too many people to thank to dwell on myself. And if I ran out of space to mention you, @ me on Twitter. I’ll be bored next semester.

Greg and Alejandro, thank you for responding to my all-too-professional introduction email by telling me to just show up to a meeting. I was intimidated, and you quickly made it clear there was no reason to be. Without you two, I would have never fallen in love with this place so quickly.

Feldman, thank you for the quesadilla maker, and for being the friendly face I needed when I first started here. Greystone on me.

Raj, sorry I got pissed at you during edits one night. You asked me if I’d rather hear what I want to hear and have a crappy article, or actually make it better. You might not remember it, but it’s something that still sticks with me.

Max Cohen, I was at a bar a few weeks ago and told a freshman I learned everything from you. I don’t want your head to get too big, but a lot of that is true. Always be a jackhammer.

Jake, you made me feel very underdressed at my first meeting. Then you proceeded to inspire me every single day. That hasn’t changed, and you taught me what this place is supposed to be. Thank you.

Bultman, thank you for that walk on the Ferry Field track, and for all the moments like it before and since. I don’t have enough words to explain how great of a friend you have been, but I couldn’t have done this without you.

Jacob and Kelly, thank you for doing all the little things that may go unnoticed by most. You helped make this place so special to me. Miss you guys.

Fahd, you’ve been an unbelievable friend to me, and I can’t wait to watch you conquer the world.

Minh, Jason and Justin, thanks for making a sophomore feel comfortable working with three guys who were a lot more experienced than him. And boy was Wild Times, well, wild.  

Carney, you had the best conference I was ever a part of, and every time I was exhausted last year, I thought of that. Thanks for wanting it so badly, because it was an honor to work with you.

Tyler Scott, thank you for buying us that 30 rack in Oklahoma City, and for all the inspiring enthusiasm leading up to it. It was a pleasure, my man.

Chris, I only wish we got to work together on a beat after softball, but when you make it big as an author, I’ll have a spot in my bookcase waiting.

Laney, you epitomize the spirit of this place, and you had a knack for making me smile on the days I really needed it. Thank you.

Mike and Orion, I constantly admire the passion you have for this place. You’re gonna kill it next year.

Max, Mark, Ben and Anna — cherish this place, and thanks for some great memories.

Betelhem, there’s no one else I would have rather shared this experience with. Thank you for the patience and determination that no one else sees go into this job. It meant the world to me.

Emma, we didn’t say thank you enough — so call this one overdue, but I can’t imagine having done your job. The work you put into this place was inspiring.

Rebecca, I had never spoken a word to you before we needed to work together. Now, I’d call you one of my best friends. Thank you for always listening, and for telling me I was wrong when I needed to hear it.

And to all my fellow managing editors, I’m sorry I’m running out of words, but it has been a pleasure to work with all of you.

Ted, you’re welcome for convincing you to come to a Sunday meeting after you got turned down from a fraternity too. It’s been a hell of a ride, man, and this experience wouldn’t have been the same without you. Here’s to Rick’s.

James, Mike, TJ, Vin and Janet — I don’t think I tell you each how much I look up to you enough. But you all gave me the confidence that I could make it at college 10 hours from home, and I love you guys.

Meg, I know you were hoping I’d go to Binghamton four years ago. But you supported my decision to come here anyway, and have continued to support me ever since — even if I took three hours to answer texts through the past two semesters. I love you for that, and for so much more.

Mom and Dad, your baby’s all grown up, aye? I couldn’t have done any of this without you, and I wish I could say more, but I’ll be dedicating a column to you in four months.

Carly Snider, Senior Arts Editor

I’ve been listening to a lot of Slant 6 lately. Christina Billotte’s declarations, I’ve decided, embody so much of who I have become. This current iteration of myself — one that has evolved (devolved, maybe, depending on the day) into a living mass of buzzing words and loud music — would be impossible without The Daily. I remember my start on Arts, when walking into the newsroom meant bracing my ever-anxious self to join a sea of faces much cooler, smarter and infinitely more talented than I. But then I got to know these faces, and their names. They were still cooler, smarter, and insanely talented, but these faces were now my friends.

Sometimes I like to wonder what my college experience would have been like had I not joined Arts, but that is a thought I don’t care much to entertain. I cannot imagine a better place to have spent my time. Entering college, I had no clue what I wanted to do, to study, to be. I still have no clue, but at least I have the massive web of support The Daily has given me. Thinking of Daily alum, I’m emboldened. Thinking of my fellow crew of editors makes me laugh (only sometimes, they’re OK). Thinking of the next crop of staffers, I’m already proud.

This is getting pretty sappy, and I think I’ve reached my emotional quota for the next year. I just really love this damn paper. And my friends. And being able to write and yell about punk and Grimes and anything else at my place of work that never really felt like work at all. But before I go, I have to thank my parents; God only knows how many frantic, sometimes crying, occasionally triumphant phone calls they have fielded from me in the past few years. But they keep answering, every time.

Wherever I find myself, Sunday afternoons, I know, will always remind me of The Daily.

Stephanie Trierweiler, Senior Opinion Editor

Shuffling into The Michigan Daily’s newsroom my first week freshman year was terrifying. The ceiling stood infinitely taller than I did, decades of archives were stacked in the conference room and each section seemed to operate like its own little organism. Pitching an article during my first edit board meeting the next week, in a room filled with brilliant upperclassmen, was even more terrifying.

But I’m glad I stuck it out, despite the jitters I felt in my first few moments here. The newsroom’s high ceiling makes my workspace more open. I’ve sifted through those archives and learned fascinating nuggets of University history. I’ve gradually established my own orbit and home in the Opinion section in the back corner of the room over the past three and a half years.

I cannot sum up this place as a strong campus presence, as a reputable news publication, as a massive student organization and employer, as a hub of thought, as a launchpad for career opportunities or even as my own community. It is something bigger, and constantly shifts and grows as generations of students stretch themselves and explore their voices within it. It is a place created primarily by students, learners, experimenters — and one we can truly call ours.

My entire college experience completely intertwines with memories of production nights and edit board discussions, cider mill trips and impromptu yoga sessions. In my time here, the newsroom has served not only as a space for countless hours of writing and editing content, but also for political debates, studying, holiday dinners, editor elections, venting sessions and musical performances. Not many activities could have persuaded me to stay until midnight on a Wednesday, but some of my favorite memories of college have been born out of late production nights.

It has also been an immense privilege to edit for the Opinion section, which occupies a precious space within the paper. To me, Opinion is an intersection and struggle between reporting and personal views. It’s a celebration of nuance that can come out of examining the same issue from a different lens. Difficult conversations and decisions flow from this section literally every time I come in.

Working for Opinion has helped me make sense of my campus and community, and empowered me to feel like my voice — and the voices of our columnists, edit board members and op-ed writers — is heard. It has shown me layers of nuance I could have never otherwise explored in events happening around me. I have come to appreciate that offering this kind of platform is extremely important work.

To the Daily and Opinion, THANK YOU!! For helping me face tough questions, grow both academically and personally and learn to create in new ways. I’m so excited to see where Alexa, Anu, Ashley and the rest of the staff take you next year.

A few more thank yous:

Derek and Aarica: Thank you for taking me on and believing in me as an editor, showing me what student leadership can look like and improving my writing. For introducing me to the world of Pita Kabob Grill and sticking with me those first few weeks while I struggled to create text boxes in inDesign.

Claire and Regan: Thank you for Skyping and getting excited with me in the middle of the summer about a speakout series for survivors of sexual assault, and for making that series happen as soon as we came back to campus. For creating a home within Opinion and showering our corner with blankets and tea.

Anna and Rebecca: Thank you for acting not only as my managing editors but as my partners, collaborators and friends. Anna, for basically being my college twin and always supporting me through our (uncannily) similar paths. Rebecca, for showing me the art of being thorough and taking care with every piece of Content you touch, and for illustrating the ideal form of a salmon mousse dish.

Max and Madeline: Thank you for instantly bonding with me and becoming some of my best friends in college, purely from working together last semester. For making hours and hours of editing more than worth it. For road-tripping, Espresso Royale-ing, dancing to techno, somehow getting in and out of Pizza House in 20 minutes flat and, on a couple occasions, just simply sitting and reading with me. For hot takes and hot tubbin’.