If my lil’ freshman self looked at my senior self, she would have never thought that she’d be leading her university’s newspaper. I remember being a wee freshman at the beginning of a global pandemic. Being stuck in my room and listening to the slightly tuneful (and slightly annoying) chirps of my birds encapsulated my transition from high school to college. 

At the start of my sophomore year, I was given the opportunity to live on-campus and have a “natural” start to college. In getting my first ever job (I was a late bloomer to part-time jobs) at UCR’s Career Center, I realized that I needed to get more involved on campus. One day, as I scrolled on Instagram, I saw that The Highlander was promoting their weekly Writer’s Meeting. I had previously been involved in my high school’s newspaper as a staff writer, although journalism was never my number one option, it was still an option that I wanted to explore further. 

Though my social anxiety invaded my body the second I entered The Highlander’s office, little did I know that I would meet the most incredible people during my college career that eventually made that anxiety disappear. 

After a week of writing, I was fortunately hired on to be the Assistant Radar Editor. I had the opportunity to meet the creative minds within UCR, peers that I possibly wouldn’t have met without this role that I am grateful for. By my junior year, I led the Radar section alongside my amazing Assistant, Jaelyn Gonzalez. Together we took care of our little Radar baby and made it flourish with art, music and life that made this experience endearing and fulfilling. 

Serving as the Editor-in-Chief of The Highlander during my senior year will be an experience that I will hold close to my heart. From covering protests to watching the ingenious minds of UCR students coming together as a strong unit, my time as Editor-in-Chief has been invaluable. I have seen my team grow throughout this year and I am very proud and excited to see what you all will do next. 

Thank you to The Highlander family for all of the great memories. This family has made my years at UCR indispensable and there are not enough words to thank you all. To my successor Senna Omar, you will be another branch in a tree of legacies of The Highlander’s Editor-in-Chiefs.