Courtesy of Julia Raguckas

Position(s): 2022 Managing Video Editor

Section(s): Video

Semesters at The Daily: 5

Wow. Writing something like this so soon feels so strange, but then I realize it’s not “so soon” at all. I really am a senior about to move on from Michigan and The Daily for good. 

I remember hearing about The Daily through some of my friends my freshman year. I didn’t join The Daily my freshman year, wanting to prioritize my classes and get acclimated to my newfound college life, but I figured I would join eventually. But as the pandemic unfolded toward the end of that year and I had to move off campus and back to my childhood home in Knoxville, Tennessee, I quickly forgot about involving myself in anything on campus.

It was finally in January 2021, the second semester of my sophomore year, that I decided to get involved with The Daily. I honestly do not remember why or how I decided to apply for The Daily. Perhaps it was a longing to feel like a Michigan student again. I had stayed back home in Tennessee for the entirety of my sophomore year; I felt like anything but a Michigan student, living in my childhood bedroom and taking Zoom classes from my kitchen table.

 After applying and being rejected from both the Arts and Podcast sections (don’t worry I still love you guys <3), I surprisingly landed on the Video team. I say surprisingly because besides iMovie, high school photography classes, and my failed attempts at a YouTube channel, I had little to no experience with cameras or video. Thinking back, I honestly don’t remember what made me want to apply to a section that I had no experience in, but I’m glad I did. I couldn’t have asked for a better section to be a part of. 

Starting work for The Daily completely on Zoom was a little tough in the beginning, especially because I wasn’t able to cover any campus events, which is the bulk of what we are supposed to do. Living 500 miles away from campus, I was limited to Zoom interview videos or editing others’ footage. Also, having Zoom meetings with people I had never met before felt a little strange, but over time I began looking forward to these little Tuesday night meetings and seeing the team in their little Zoom boxes. It was something that connected me to campus, though I was hundreds of miles away. 

While I enjoyed that time and look back on it fondly, I really started to enjoy my time at The Daily when I was back on campus and able to have in-person meetings with the whole team in the fall of 2021. I was able to finally meet all the people I had seen in little Zoom boxes the past semester, and I was excited to actually make content on campus. Video gave me a creative outlet, something to be excited about. It also put me out of my comfort zone. I never would have imagined that I would be the kind of person to dress up in a squirrel costume in the Diag asking questions to strangers, or that I would be the kind of person who would dress up as former University President Mark Schlissel for a video, but what can I say, The Daily brought out that side of me. I never thought in the beginning of all this I would become managing editor of the Video team either. Most importantly, though, I didn’t think that I would become as attached as I did to this little section that I joined on a whim. I never thought I would meet so many wonderful people and have as many fond memories as I do.

To the Michigan Daily Video team: I have gotten to know so many talented and creative people through this team. You all seriously inspire me with your amazing work and dedication. You make my Tuesday nights every week; I don’t know what I’ll do with my Tuesdays once I graduate, but it probably won’t be nearly as fun or fulfilling. I’ll miss discovering very weird things about you all through our icebreakers and the funny (and sometimes out-of-pocket) things you have to say. I couldn’t imagine being in any other section, because you all make it so fun and worthwhile (we really are the best section for real). I can’t wait to see how the team grows and evolves long after I am gone; I know this team is in good hands.

To Hannah: If I had to be Managing Editor with anyone, I am so glad it was with you. You are without a doubt one of the most hardworking and genuine people I have ever gotten the pleasure of knowing and working with. You are a natural-born leader and I just know from what I’ve seen working with you that you’re going to be super successful in life. Besides all that, you are such a funny and lively person to be around; no conversation is boring with you. I wish you the best of luck as you enter your second year as Managing Video Editor (you’re crazy for that, but I respect it). If you need someone to rant to about all the crazy ME stuff you end up having to deal with, I’m only a text away. Don’t have too much fun without me. 

Thanks so much for the memories!

xoxo, Julia (: