Courtesy of Katrina Stebbins.

Position(s): Daily Arts Writer

Section(s): Arts

Semesters at The Daily: 3

There’s a huge part of me that doesn’t feel like I really deserve to be writing a Senior Goodbye, certainly not one that’s as long as this one is going to end up being. I was only hired back in February of this year — just months ago — and that feels so meager compared to the years that others have put in. However, I’ve never been one to pass up an opportunity to put the mess of my feelings into words on a page, not only because I’m bad at actually speaking my emotions aloud, but because this way feels more substantial to me anyway.

After transferring to the University of Michigan at the beginning of my third year, I felt entirely at sea. I had left behind a solid community at my old school, only half of my credits transferred here and I was bogged down by the incredible weight of imposter syndrome. Even though I sort of managed to find my footing, I never felt fully settled or comfortable, and that was only compounded by the pandemic. I was struggling in every way when I decided on a whim to apply to Daily Arts. I wrote the 2,000+ words that went into my application in one sitting, and that in itself is an indication of how much I needed this place. I needed to write, and I needed to be around other people who cared as much about art as I did.

Not only has Daily Arts been the perfect outlet for my many, many creative frustrations, it’s also made me feel, for the first time in maybe my entire college career, surrounded and secure. I didn’t think too much about what belonging really felt like before I felt the lack of it for such a long time, and then found it again here. I’m not exaggerating when I say that everyone I’ve ever spoken to at The Daily has brought me some amount of joy (and I can only hope I’ve done the same), but I have a couple of specific thank you’s to dole out.

To Ross and Maddie: Oh, I adore you both. At first, I was so taken aback by the force of your friendships and the immediacy of them, but now I know they’re the best things to have come into my life in a while. It feels like the universe has given all of us a lot of opportunities to become friends, and I’m glad we finally took one. We all have different relationships with the idea of found family but, at the risk of sounding incredibly corny, I hope both of you know that you can always find it in me. Also, you’re simply two of the most talented writers I know, and you push me to be better all the time. Here’s to the future. Whenever I think about it now, you two are there, and that makes it not just bearable, but thrilling.

To Shannon: I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but thank God for V2V. I’m so glad that after all the long, plodding hours spent behind that stupid counter, we have this friendship to show for it. Thank you for taking that long shot and asking me to come to New York; thank you for the Tetris, takeout and hard cider nights; thank you for confiding in me and being a confidant; thank you for being a huge part of the reason I even decided to apply to The Daily in the first place. Your love for this place is so infectious and striking and you inspire me to do better work, but more importantly to be kinder and more giving. I love you a lot, Shan. You’re gonna do so much, and I can’t wait to watch it all happen.

To Fia and Julian: I know we didn’t get the outcome we were hoping for, but you guys are still the future of Daily Arts. If anything, I’m incredibly grateful for our campaign because of the time I got to spend getting to know you, your brilliance and your deep, genuine dedication to the section, the work and the art we all love. Fia, you are such a warm, graceful and generous spirit with such a powerful passion for art and people. Julian, I can only hope to learn from the way you go through the world with that magnetic cool, calm and gentleness that you radiate. Please keep doing the work that fulfills you, because everything you two touch, here and anywhere else, will turn to gold.

Thanks to the film beat for being the coolest and most talented people in the joint; thanks to everyone I ever talked to at a party or went to a concert with; thanks to Lizzie, my Charley’s doppelganger; and thanks to Elise, for that email and everything else.

Thanks to this place, for giving me the ability to flit around a party and have a heated debate about Wes Anderson here, a sincere discussion about loneliness there and people I adore everywhere. I feel so lucky and grateful for all of it.