Courtesy of Isabella Kassa

Position(s): 2022 Assistant News Editor, 2022 CTI Liaison, 2022 Research Beat Reporter

Section(s): Arts, News

Semesters at The Daily: 3

I remember reading last year’s senior goodbyes after just a single semester of being on staff, tearing up at strangers talking about what this paper means to them. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to write my own in a year. The idea that I would have any roots at this place felt far away and almost inconceivable. Now a year later, I am so thankful to have a space on this campus that feels so hard to leave.

I’ve spent all of my time at The Daily split between two sections, Arts and News. This decision was definitely born from my dedication to stretching myself too thin, but with the help of excellent editors, I’ve been so blessed with the opportunity to push myself as a writer for two of The Daily’s best sections (not biased at all). 

To Kristina and Dominic and all of the 2021-2022 SNEDs, thank you! Your constant patience, thoroughness and dedication to this paper made News such an exciting place for me as a writer and a reporter. Being a part of News has pushed me out of my comfort zone, allowed me to cover some of the most pressing issues on our campus and report on topics I find fascinating. I am a more confident person and writer because of my time on News, and I couldn’t have done it without the support system on the section. I will never not be amazed (and maybe a little concerned) when I wake up to edits on my stories from the wee hours of the morning. The editors of this section are some of the most driven and intelligent people I’ve met at this university, and I am so grateful for the way that my time on news has shaped me.

Arts has always felt like a home in the newsroom. I remember my first Arts meeting, listening to everyone respond to our wacky icebreakers feeling a bit of impostor syndrome. How did I get chosen to write with all of these incredibly cool people? Elise and Lizzy, MAEs of 2020-2021, helped create a culture on Arts that felt so welcoming and warm. I’m still not convinced I’m cool enough to work alongside the talented people on Arts, but I feel comfortable and accepted coming into our meetings, which is so special. 

A huge, huge thank you to Lilly Pearce, Books Beat Editor of 2020-2021 and MAE with the wonderful Sabriya this year. Lilly went out of her way as the beat editor and the MAE to make me and all the other newcomers feel comfortable from the beginning. I knew from the start that I had an encouraging and supportive friend in Lilly, which was huge as a new writer. I’ll never forget at our last Books meeting of the year, she hand- made every person on the beat watercolor bookmarks. I feel so lucky to have had both Lilly and Sabriya as MAEs this year. They fostered a feeling of community on Arts and ran the section with such grace and intelligence. I am so grateful to have been led by them. 

To Emilia and Julian and Meera! Thank you! All three of you made books so much fun this year. I can’t really think of a better gig than writing book reviews. Your passion for the beat and books in general made me excited to read and write. I am a better writer from your edits, suggestions and encouragement. To all of Books: I’m so excited to continue writing with you for one more semester. You are all so incredible! 

It’s really, really difficult to fully capture what this paper means to me and so many others. The Daily is a place on campus for me to be creative, to build community, engage and express myself. I felt a sense of purpose, like what I was writing mattered not only to the other people on The Daily but to the wider community. I fell in love with journalism at The Daily and am proud of myself for all of the writing I did during my relatively brief time here. I am leaving a stronger writer and more sure of myself, and couldn’t have gotten here without everyone else’s support at the paper. Though I’m sad to be almost finished, I feel sure that the paper will continue in the best of hands far into the future. Looking back, my only regret is not joining sooner. I will forever be grateful for my time spent at this place, the people and the ways it has shaped my experience at Michigan.