Courtesy of Caroline Atkinson

Position(s): 2022 Copy Chief, 2021 Senior Copy Editor, 2020 Primary Copy Editor, 2020 Daily Arts Writer

Section(s): Copy

Semesters at The Daily: 6

This senior goodbye was due a week ago, but I’m sitting here in my regular chair in the newsroom and I can’t seem to finish it. Seriously, I’m not usually a procrastinator. This has taken me so long because, first of all, I keep tearing up and tears are hard to see through, and also I know that once I submit this, my time at The Michigan Daily is officially over. I also know, though, that these tears I’m trying so hard to hold back are evidence of time really, really well spent. 

I so vividly remember sitting at a mass meeting in this same room my freshman year and listening to Madison, one of the 2020 Copy Chiefs, describe her section. Maybe this is creepy, but I wanted to be her. She was smart and well-spoken, friendly and approachable yet so good at her job. Most of all, she had a purpose and a place on campus; she was on The Daily. After I was hired as a Primary (I was ecstatic, but I had no idea just how much it would change my life) and I got to know her, Sadia and later Liv, I was amazed at how much thought, generosity and kindness went into their leadership and editing. 

They introduced me to how The Daily is a uniquely special place. The people at 420 Maynard are driven, bright and enthusiastic, and most of all, they want to be here. They show up day after day just to add something to a paper and a community created by nothing other than the hard work and talent of those here before them. When the work gets extremely difficult and the nights get extraordinarily long, they still want to be here. I’ll miss a lot of things about The Daily, but mostly I’ll miss the people. Here’s to you! 

Madi, thank you for showing me what was possible here, and for setting the bar so high. Liv, thank you for being equal parts role model and friend to me, and for staying on Copy in 2022. There’s no way Ethan and I could have done it without you. Thank you both for supporting us and basically handing us our careers at The Daily. Madi and Liv, I’ll never be quite like you, but having the chance to stand in your shoes this year has filled me with really just a silly amount of pride and gratitude. 

Copy, you have my heart! Alex, Melissa, Audrey, Lizzie, Emily, Jackson, Maya, Julia, Chloe, Jenna, all the Fall 2022 new hires and everyone who’s ever logged onto WordPress and typed the classic [COPY: confirmed], your dedication and energy for what is some of the most thankless work inspires me every day. Each one of you is diligent and perceptive, and you edit with integrity and kindness — something that’s easy to overlook, but is unusually important in this job. Working on Copy can be a big responsibility, and I’m very proud of your commitment to being inclusive and open-minded when working with the writing of our peers. 

Even more than that, though, your willingness to help build a community has made each and every late night, freezing walk and trip to the Walgreens candy aisle worth it. Watching you all form friendships with each other has honestly been one of the joys of my time at Michigan. Thank you for making the Copy desk more than I ever thought it could be. In a year, if I come back to visit, I expect to see the quote sheets doubled in length; in 10 years, when some random lady is hyping you up for your impressive new job on LinkedIn, it’s probably me. 

Ethan, from fighting for our lives to make our platform posters creative to replying 10+ times to a certain Copy celebrity, I’m glad we experienced it all together. I was admittedly wary of taking on such an administrative job with a guy as a partner. But, if memory serves, you offered to write the first email to our Summer 2021 staff and I knew everything would be ok. Thank you for being a tireless and meticulous editor. You led by example and taught me something every time I read your suggestions on breaking news. Thank you for catching mistakes in my emails, for our utterly illegible interview notes and for all our texts across the desk.

Dana and Abbie, Copy is so lucky to have you both — there’s no one more prepared to lead the section. To borrow Madi’s words, you’re both fantastic editors but even better people. Thank you for being the chatty friends you are and for making long nights so much more bearable. Rely on each other, make friends, go to socials! Please take breaks and go to bed when you need to. Change the style guide — the only way this section will stay relevant and constructive is if you continue to challenge the way things are done. Most importantly, always assume the candy jar needs filling. 

Paige, after reading 20+ other senior goodbyes, just about everyone has said this, but they’re not wrong: you really did single-handedly turn this paper around. The hundreds of hours you’ve sacrificed for everything The Michigan Daily has become under your leadership are so very, very appreciated. Your efforts to bring community back to 420 Maynard have changed countless people’s TMD experiences for the better. Thank you for being a constant friend and an unwavering leader. Kate and Shannon, good luck with everything next year! You’re going to be fantastic. 

Dominic, as much as I truly hate to say it (just kidding love you), you were my first friend in the newsroom this year outside of Copy. I’ve never actually told you how grateful I am that you included me in your questionable rants and regatta-flair party planning. Thanks for never listening when I said to stop distracting me. Kristina, thank you for making me feel welcome in our little corner of the newsroom. Your work ethic is endlessly shocking and impressive. I’ll miss our shared eye-rolls at the News x Copy chaos. 

Zoe, thank you for being the bold friend and very silly little sister I needed this year. There’s no one I’d rather circle around Hamilton Place (because really, it’s scary in there) or be trapped in a car listening to Julian, Ethan and Evan sing with. You don’t need me to tell you how wonderful you’ll be as DME. We need to nail down our stealing strategy for Saturday asap. 

Julian, Shubs, Tess, Grace, Nick, Jared and all of the 2022 MEs, you made my year. Thank you for story meetings, late nights, group chats, sneaky photos, shoe-eating ducks, $2 Tuesdays, Thursdays at Regents, parties at Hamilton, trading glasses, standing on tables and crying with laughter because everything is so funny and absurd and we couldn’t have done it alone. Thank you for being the group of friends I didn’t know I needed.

Evan, I guess now’s the time for me to admit I did in fact sometimes leave unnecessary edits on captions just to mess with you. Thank you for making The Daily such a warm, loud, connected and yes, engaged place. Your hard work and persistent kindness never went unnoticed. Thank you for standing with me in the NYPD line (even if you already had it for lunch — weird) and for sitting with me when the rest of Copy leaves. 

To my five lovely housemates, if you’re reading this, thanks for filling me in on the gossip and happenings from every Thursday night I missed with you. Thanks for listening to what probably amounted to many hours of drama about people you simply didn’t know. I promise we can talk about something else now. I’m so excited to spend the rest of senior year with you. 

Now there’s a major lump in my throat because the desk has cleared out, the captions are in and I’ve just closed all my tabs after my last night editing. The newsroom has quieted down and, on Thursday, this will be Dana and Abbie’s chair. To all current and future Daily staffers, have the best time here, and please save me a piece of candy at the Copy desk!