Position(s): 2021 Statement Managing Editor, 2020 Statement Deputy Editor, 2020 Summer Statement Managing Editor, 2018 Statement Columnist
Semesters at The Daily: 6
As I sit in the Law Library listening to a Phoebe Bridgers song from a playlist titled “evolution is slow,” I’m struck by a paralyzing inability to start writing my Senior Goodbye. I’ve saved this daunting task for the absolute last minute, most likely as a subconscious coping mechanism for failing to come to terms with the reality of the situation. Today is the day after a historical Michigan football win over Ohio State and my second to last Sunday as Statement Managing Editor.
This is all very bittersweet.
Today, I am a 21-year-old senior, living out my days as both a college student and a Managing Statement Editor — yet it seems as if it was only yesterday that I was an unsettled freshman, looking for a publication to let me write. In a moment of serendipity, a POLSCI 101 classmate connected me to Emily Stillman, who forwarded me the Statement Winter 2018 application.
I didn’t know it then, but this was a moment that changed the trajectory of my life forever. At this point, I had never been to a Daily mass meeting, nor had I even seen a Statement article. To be honest, I initially wanted to write for Opinion, but the applications weren’t out yet. But Statement was a long-form, narrative-based writing outlet, and I wanted to give the section a shot. Luckily, I was hired.
But I wrote what I would now argue were mediocre columns, and I wasn’t rehired. Thankfully, the story doesn’t end there.
When the pandemic first began, I was blessed with an email from Maggie Mihaylova, the Statement ME at the time, looking for contributions for the magazine’s COVID-19 edition. I then poured my heart into a column titled “What now?” and the article was successfully published. More importantly, the piece offered me an opportunity to work with Maggie: my Michigan Daily role model, an inspiration of all inspirations, the blueprint that seamlessly paved the way.
That summer, Maggie needed someone to temporarily assume her role as Statement ME. With Statement and editorial experience under my belt, I applied for the position. To this day, I can’t exactly pinpoint how Maggie knew to trust that I would give it my all, but she offered me the spot.
Everything took off from then on, and Statement became my life in a way that I will never forget.
Statement is my outlet for creativity, my home base for community, my ever-working catalyst for growth. Statement takes up more time in my week than anything else, but I can confidently say that nothing matches the fulfillment this role offers. It has taught me how to lead, how to connect, how to listen. Statement has taught me that people not only care about but put trust in my words and my decision-making. It has introduced me to the most talented people I’ve ever met, allowing me the opportunity to work with and learn directly from their unique insights.
I’ve never been so grateful to be a part of a team or an organization at large. The Statement and The Michigan Daily changed my life for the better. I can’t even try to articulate how much I will miss it.
But as the saying goes, how lucky am I to have something that makes it so hard to say goodbye. And to end, I’d like to thank all of the people who contributed to the beauty of this unparalleled experience:
Maggie: Words cannot adequately express how much love and gratitude I have for you. Thank you for trusting me with your child, for showing me how to lead with grace, for mentoring me throughout the last year of your college career. I have grown so much from looking up to you, and I will forever be grateful that we crossed paths. I’m crossing my fingers that we’ll intersect again.
Sammy Cole: Where do I begin? Thank you for being my right-hand woman, my trusted confidant and a best friend. I’m so grateful that I can always count on you to better my half-baked ideas, entertain my madness and perpetuate my absurdity. There’s no one quite like you — keep shining so bright with a unique, unmatchable light anyone can spot from a mile away. Love you, gil.
Leo Krinsky: Though we only started working together this year, thank you for all of your hard work, artistic talent and admirable intellect. You have made the section a better place and allowed Sammy and me a space for even our most ridiculous ideas. I’m so excited to see where life takes you.
Julia, my little one, Verklan-Maloney: I am so happy you are a member of this editorial team. You are so brilliant, talented, witty and a pleasure to be around. Thank you for your dedication and hard work this semester — it has not gone unnoticed. I cannot wait to see what you do, Statement/Daily related or not, over the next two and a half years.
Jack Grieve: Father and co-parent of Probably Grieve Cole, I am so grateful you exist. Thank you for being the #1 Statement Groupie (and for interrupting every single Statement meeting to date). Also, thank you for dealing with my 1 a.m. publishing requests and helping Statement, The Daily and me succeed every step of the way. You are one of a kind, and I cannot wait to see all of the amazing things you do.
To everyone else who made this role so special — Marisa Wright, Izzy Hasslund, all Statement designers (specifically Eileen Kelly, Maggie Wiebe, Katherine Lee and Sarah Chung), Claire Hao, Brittany Bowman, Yashu Nannapuraju, Martina Villalobos, Parth Dhyani, Emily Stillman and every writer I’ve ever worked with — thank you for the experience of a lifetime. I could never have done it without the support and intelligence of each and every one of you.
To the entire Statement Winter and Fall 2021 teams, thank you for always trusting me with your work, for showing up time and time again, and for bearing with my meaningless email introductions about nothing at all. It has been the biggest honor to lead all of you. You are all so talented and insightful — please keep writing <3
And to Grace Tucker, I cannot wait to see all of the wonderful things you do as Statement ME. I am more than confident that you will lead so flawlessly.
Statement and The Michigan Daily, I love you forever.