Starting off an article talking about 2020 is so cliche these days that back when I was Managing Editor we asked writers to stop it completely. I’m here to break that rule two years later, because 2020 is the year that I joined The Highlander. I was between high school graduation and left with some skills that I had picked up on the Great Oak Gazette (if you happen to read this, Mr. Yerkes, thank you for everything!). By sheer chance, The Highlander was hiring an Assistant Opinions Editor, and I managed to secure that role going into my first year of college. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect — the Gazette was not a weekly paper, but a quarterly one — but I knew that I wanted to get involved on campus, even if I couldn’t physically be on it.

That choice to apply for that role launched me into these last four years. I rose from Assistant Opinions Editor to lead Opinions Editor, to Managing Editor and back again to Copy Editor. The journey hasn’t always been easy. To be honest, it’s been ridiculously stressful, to the point where I know that journalism isn’t something that I ever want to pursue as a career. Yet all the rough times also came with the good ones. 

Getting to help on the writing front of the paper was such a pleasure. Working one-on-one with writers brought me so much joy — I especially loved helping them develop ideas for pitches. I loved getting Coffee Bean every Sunday and debating over the most effective formatting of an article. I have this collection of memories that I will always cherish.

The paper helped me craft a new voice outside of the fiction emphasis of my creative writing major. It gave me an outlet for a kind of writing that helped spark a passion for creative nonfiction outside of my studies. Those skills are ones I will carry with me as I move on in my writing journey.

Working in this team environment as well was truly unique, and required a level of trust to ensure that the finished product came out the best it can be. I’m grateful for the way our ever-changing team worked together, helping me and each other as we worked on this paper. I wouldn’t change a single thing. Actually, maybe I wouldn’t have written my pit bull article.

In the near future, I will be starting my Master of Library and Information Science at San José State University this August with the intent of becoming a public librarian and an advocate for children’s and adult literacy. I am grateful that I will continue to be writing over at the lovely Boshemia Magazine as a columnist and that I’m getting married next year(!). All things considered, it’s going to be a pretty lovely transition out of undergrad. I’m grateful to have grown up these last four years in The Highlander community, and I can’t wait to see what all my lovely coworkers go on to do. To quote the incomparable Douglas Adams — “so long, and thanks for all the fish.”