Courtesy of Elise Godfryd.

Position(s): 2021 Managing Arts Editor

Section(s): Arts

Semesters at The Daily: 6

In my favorite book, Virginia Woolf wrote, “This is poetry if we do not write it.” My three years at The Michigan Daily have been poetry, and here I am, butchering it with language that will never be enough. Words will never do justice to what this place, these people and this paper have meant to me. But I suppose I can try. It’s the least I can do, really. 

In my first year of college, I’m lonely and anxious and terrified of growing up, and I spend most of my free time alone, reading novels, watching movies and listening to music in the dark. Bright Eyes sings in my ear, “I’m glad I didn’t die before I met you.” I wonder about what I’m missing in that big and scary world outside my dorm room. Where is ‘you’? Are they wondering about me too? I decide to apply to The Daily’s Arts section; I wonder if the people there might be like me. One day the editors choose to welcome me to their film beat. I don’t stop smiling for the rest of that day, or that semester. Three years later I’m still smiling. 

I meet people, the people I now call my best friends. Loving art is no longer a lonely thing. In fact, it becomes a remedy to my loneliness, something I can use to navigate the space between myself and others. It’s like Julie Delpy’s character muses in “Before Sunrise”: “If there’s any kind of God it wouldn’t be in any of us, not you or me but just this little space in between.” My favorite artists and shows and movies and books, inhabitants of that space, are my fiercest allies, bringing me closer to the people I’m meant to meet. And what amazing people they are. 

Zoe, words fail when I try to talk about you, what you’ve meant to me, what you’ve done for me. But Sally Rooney’s usually seem to suffice: I’m so stupid for you. Thank you for showing me what friendship can be, what it can mean. Let’s grow old together. 

John, I’ve known you for quite some time now (since high school!), but I don’t think I really met you until The Daily. I’m sorry I’m so bad at texting back. It’s not because of you. The more I think about it the more I think it’s because I want to impress you, regardless of how much you may say there’s no need. I want to be the kind of person who’s worthy of your time and your friendship and your attention. You have the biggest brain, and more importantly the biggest heart. You are going to do amazing things for this world. 

Lizzie, when you enter a room I breathe a sigh of relief. It’s as simple as that. You have been my source of comfort in such a challenging and personally exhausting semester. I really do believe you are the heart of Daily Arts. It is your passion and your enthusiasm that remind me why I love the work I do here. Here’s to many more years of friendship and inside jokes. 

Drew, you’re long gone now, off to Chicago to write gorgeous and challenging books I hope to read with students one day. You’re the funniest person I’ve ever known. I hope you’ll take a trip to my rustic New England cabin 30 years from now to talk about Blood on the Tracks for hours and hours over tea. 

Julianna, if it’s not obvious by now, I want to be you. My whole life since meeting you has been about trying to be more like you. If only I could possess a fraction of your thoughtfulness, your grace, your capacity for love. Thank you for existing.   

Brittany, I adore your cats. They are beautiful, and they look just like the cat I loved when I was young. Her name was Emily, and she had the greenest eyes I’ve ever seen. I like to think she lives on through Ollie and Georgie. You’re beautiful too, of course. And sweet, and so talented, and so consistently supportive of my beloved section. It has meant the world to me. 

Claire, is it weird to say I wish I knew you better, having worked with you for a year now? I know of your kindness, your commitment to justice and truth, your perseverance, your outstanding leadership. But I wish I could know other things, things which may seem trivial but feel equally important, like your favorite childhood memory, or the kind of music you listen to on rainy days. What if we got coffee sometime? 

Jack, I feel the same for you as I do for Claire. Are you a cat person or a dog person? In all seriousness, though, thank you for providing emotional support via text that one time. It may have been a small gesture on your part but it completely altered the course of my week. I want you to know that. 

Asha and Haley, I see us becoming close next semester. If you’re willing, I’m all in. 

Grace, Drew, Mik, Sabriya, Andrew, Kaitlyn, Sophia, Peter, Anya, Kari and Lilly, what an honor it’s been to work with you. Be on the lookout for personalized love letters. Come to my house anytime — the living room is waiting for you. 

Arts, I cannot wait to gush about you at our last meeting together. Stay tuned. 

Everything that happened here lives with me forever. I’m glad I didn’t die before I met you. Thank you for everything.