Courtesy of Parnia Mazhar.

Position(s): 2019 Assistant News Editor, 2018-2020 Daily Staff Reporter

Section(s): News

Semesters at The Daily: 5

Hi everyone! I honestly didn’t think I was going to write a senior goodbye. As I’ve begun to explore different forms of journalism these past couple years, I realized that I haven’t reported for The Michigan Daily since the beginning of my junior year. But, after reflecting a bit (and putting my guilt aside), I decided that I really did want to write this, because joining this paper has impacted my life probably more than anything else here at the University of Michigan. 

When I first came to college, I had fully sworn off journalism. I was an editor on my high school newspaper and had a really terrible experience due to our paper’s faculty advisor and the politics that went into it. After that experience, I had a strong distaste for journalism as a whole and decided to go into college as a political science major. 

When I came to Michigan as an out-of-state freshman, I wanted to put myself out there and try out a bunch of different things, one of which was sorority recruitment. After a couple weeks of making small talk with strangers, I was honestly devastated when I didn’t get into the sorority that I wanted. It seemed like everyone around me had found this “perfect fit” and had joined a group that would give them the social life and friends that I desired. 

One thing that had stood out to me during the process of rush, however, was that people kept mentioning the school newspaper. I counted a total of three times during rush where I was told how fun The Daily was and how someone knew someone who joined the paper and loved it. When rush didn’t pan out as I had hoped, I took these mentions of The Daily as a sign. I put myself out there one more time, and in October (I think) of 2018, I went to my first meeting. 

I was intimidated at first, entering a new environment with strangers who seemed to have their lives all figured out. But it was one of the best decisions I’ve made at Michigan. Being thrown into the News section where I would cover a variety of events all across campus helped me become more familiar with the school and made me feel like I had a place on campus. I slowly polished up on my writing skills and gained more and more confidence to interview strangers. I began writing more in-depth stories, such as highlighting the lack of diversity in Ross, shedding light on the personal experiences of students and faculty during the 2019 Hong Kong protests and highlighting the Michigan Bridge program’s shift from being minority-focused to white-focused

But along with solidifying my passion for journalism, The Daily also brought a group of amazing people into my life. As a lost freshman, I was finally starting to feel like I was a part of something on campus. To Remy, thank you for being a wonderful editor and welcoming me with open arms. You always made me feel comfortable at the paper and I can’t thank you enough for that. To Barbara who I used to hate (laugh out loud), thanks for being such a great friend and having the most positive attitude — your laugh is infectious. I love you so much and know I can come to you with literally anything for the rest of my life. To Alex, I wouldn’t want to ride out this journalism wave with anyone else. I haven’t met anyone as passionate about the industry as you, and I think you deserve the world. Thanks for always pushing me to be my best, I love you. I’d also like to thank The Daily for having me and Liz work on the same day sophomore year. It gave us an excuse to catch up and talk shit every week and gave me one of my best friends (and roommates!) at this school.

I fully credit The Michigan Daily and The Michigan Daily only for reigniting my passion for journalism. This newspaper has helped me once more realize that I love telling people’s stories and being a voice for those who are silenced by today’s society. I am not yet positive about what the future holds for me, but I feel much more confident now than I did four years ago, knowing where my passions lie as I enter “the real world.” 

Thank you to The Michigan Daily for helping me figure out my life. I will forever be indebted to you!