I sat in my office for the last time yesterday with tears welling up in my eyes. It wasn't because I was frustrated with an angry reader, or mad that we weren't going to make deadline, but because I realized what that office and news pages and student reporters had come to mean to me.
I do this sort of thing where I get overly sentimental about simple things.
I sometimes wonder if I care too much, or if I'm the only one who feels this way. And maybe sometimes the words I write and the emotions I allow myself to feel are a little tinged with a rosy nostalgia. But as I look back on the past four years of my life, I don't want to forget the small things, or lose the beauty of the moment I click "Submit Pages" for the last time. I've grown and changed and felt more confident in what I feel called to do than ever – which I didn't think would happen.
A year ago, I wrote about how scared I was to become the 105th editor of ACU's newspaper.
I don't know what will be thrown my way in the 31 issues I'm in charge of. I don't know what I'll do when I have to be brave and face opposition and publish news not everyone wants to hear. More than the late nights in the newsroom and the scramble for an editorial when it gets forgotten about, I am more nervous about the thoughts and stories and words that are yet to unfold.
"I hope I don't run the thing into the ground. I hope I make people think a little more about the world we live in and the school we attend. I hope that maybe you'll read it."
Well, I'm here to tell you that I did it. I successfully got 31 issues of the paper to the printers. I survived a presidential election, tough stories, late nights sustained by gummy bears and espresso.
And I loved it.
Thank you to all who have put up with me the last year of my life. You've heard me complain and curse the day I said yes to this job, but you've stayed with me and told me I was capable. You have sat in my office and edited my writing and brought me food when I couldn't make it to dinner in time. You let me be a Sing Song director and editor at the same time. (I'm still questioning how anyone let me get away with this.) You picked up a newspaper and took the time to read it, which in and of itself is an impressive act of kindness.
I've spent the past few days trying to dwell in the normal moments and it's been quite remarkable. The most simple acts have been the ones that have brought me to tears. The past four years have been formed to the rhythm of pounding keyboards, frantic mouse clicks, Thursday night deadlines and Friday after Chapel meetings - all will echo on in my mind for a while.
I'm leaving a part of my heart on newsprint paper, and I just wanted to say thank you for reading.