Tess Crowley/Daily. Buy this photo.

Position(s): Fall 2022 Senior News Editor, Daily Staff Reporter, Audience Engagement Assistant Editor

Section(s): Audience Engagement, News

Semesters at The Daily: 4

All semester, I’ve been thinking about how much better my college experience would have been if I’d known then everything that I know now. I know the point of college is that you don’t know what you’re doing. You’re supposed to make bad decisions and silly mistakes that you can look back on and laugh with people who used to be complete strangers while you figure it all out. 

I keep wishing to start over because I’m nostalgic for a year that isn’t over yet. When I go out to bars with my friends, I find myself reminiscing about when I was in college and I would go out to bars with my friends. I skip class and then feel guilty, because I know there will be a time when I miss going to classes. I’m stuck wishing I could slow the year down and experience it all for the first time again, even while it’s all happening.

Maybe it’s because I know I will never be 21 years old, living with my best friends again, coming home late because I was working a shift in the newsroom. I know I will never be 20, racing down the street to cover the firing of former University President Mark Schlissel again. I won’t be 19, freezing in my first college apartment and trying to figure out how to be a reporter. And yet, I am all of these people at once. Nostalgia is just a symptom of experiencing something great. 

If I’d known everything that I know now, I would have applied for The Daily during the first semester of my freshman year. I would’ve written throughout my college career and I would’ve gotten to know so many more amazing people. I didn’t do that, so I can only encourage everyone else to. The Daily is something great. 

My current run at The Daily began with a New Years’ Resolution. I joined the paper in the second semester of my sophomore year and was full of anxiety when faced with interviewing anyone. When I became a junior the following fall semester, I thought I wasn’t meant for journalism, so I took a break to explore other potential paths. When the weather hinted at a new year, I thought, as a low-stakes resolution, I would commit to writing for The Michigan Daily again. It’s the best decision I’ve made in my entire college career. 

This feels less like a goodbye and more like a love letter, but maybe that’s what it’s supposed to be. I cannot say goodbye to something that has been so monumental in shaping who I am as a person. If I flounder, if I fail, if I never find a job as a reporter again, I cannot regret the time I spent working at The Daily. I think it’s truly impossible. I love all the people I’ve worked with and I’m looking forward to seeing all they can accomplish. 

To Dominic & Kristina: Thank you for leading. Thank you for editing until the early hours of the morning and making it bearable for the rest of us to be there too. Dominic, thank you for being everyone’s personal flight attendant, travel agent, accountant, lawyer and art museum aficionado. I don’t know how any of us would get anywhere without you. Kristina, thank you for being everyone’s surgeon, concerned mother figure, and the best person to eat tortilla chips and salsa in a hotel room with. If I could have one more thing, it would be another late night in the newsroom with both of you. You’re both bad at trivia, though.

To George: I’m so grateful that I had the honor of having you as a SNEd. I’m so thankful that I wrote an article for you all the way back in January and that I’ve been so lucky to have gotten to know you. You deserve amazing things and I cannot wait to see them all happen to you. My experience at The Daily would not have been the same without you in it. 

To Samantha: I remember when we wrote the Northwood story together and when you shadowed the March Board of Regents meeting with me. You showed up and I remember thinking “She seems cool.” I remember, when we were dividing up the ANEds and beat reporters before the first day of classes, sitting on the steps of Hatcher library fighting for you to be a Government beat reporter. I am so so grateful I won that battle — this semester would not have been the same without you. Thank you for being a wonderful beat reporter. I’m so lucky I’ve had the privilege of calling you my friend. I wouldn’t want anyone else to be next year’s Government SNEd. I’m so excited to see what you do. 

To Mom & Dad: Do you remember when we toured campus during my senior year of high school? We parked at the Michigan League for the tour, but none of us knew how to get back there and so we were walking in circles for 15 minutes. It was sunny. We saw the Union and the Law Library and the CCRB. Do you remember when Mom said, “Yeah, I can see Anna here” while we were walking through the Diag? I can too. I’m infinitely grateful for you both. Thank you for everything. 

To 420 Maynard: I’m in awe of your history and everything you stand for, but I simultaneously loathe your late nights, hot summers and your parking lot at 1 a.m. I love the people you create — the people who get the door code wrong three times because the numbers have faded from use and the ones who slip on the tiles engraved with the names of Daily alumni. I have bonded with all the people who enjoy the fifty-cent soda vending machine and who walk down State Street to find dinner at 9 p.m. I love your many couches and especially the staffers who occupy them. To all the people at 420 Maynard, in the room up the stairs and to the left, thank you for making me better than I was when I entered.