Farewell from the life editor

Senior Anokh Palakurthi says goodbye to The Daily Campus. (Amar Batra/The Daily Campus)

I remember when I first stepped into The Daily Campus building as a doe-eyed freshman. I mainly wrote point-counterpoint pieces for the sports section, but quickly grew intimidated by the frantic pace of journalism life and eventually stopped writing, instead focusing single-mindedly on school.

Three years later, after rediscovering my passion for writing in the first semester of my junior year, I’m writing my final piece for a newspaper that has taught me more about what it’s like to work in a team than any other extracurricular activity I’ve ever had.

Whether it was workshopping with newer writers that soon grew into exceptionally dedicated reporters or improving my own content, I grew as both a leader for the writers that worked with me and as a team player. By the time Angie DeRosa and Megan Krementowski took the reigns of the life section from me by the end of the year, I knew the section was in good hands. Even watching them run the very last meeting of the year, I struggled to hold myself back from choking up.

Perhaps my favorite moment was when Cheyenne Haslett and I were the first reporters to find out the details behind Taylor Swift’s $1,989 donation to HuskyTHON in February. Either that or how much I loved hearing reception – both positive and negative – to both my nostalgia and sports columns. Hell, even the opportunity to freelance for Deadspin.com came only as a result of working at The Daily Campus, as well as a drunk kid throwing a temper tantrum at precisely the wrong (or right) time and place.

The accomplishments I enjoyed weren’t limited to my own. The more time I dedicated to the paper, the more invested and proud I became of all my peers. For example, when campus correspondent and Daily Campus sweetheart Marlese Lessing, a first-time writer, wrote a review of “The Animaniacs” that hit the front page of Reddit and became the most read online story in Daily Campus history, I felt simultaneously dumbfounded, thrilled and proud of her.

I’d be lying if I said it was always easy. Near the end of my time as a section editor, the other editor of the life section abruptly quit right before Spring Weekend after being told that he wouldn’t be returning in the same position. You can imagine how blindsiding, brief and tumultuous that was for not only me, but also everyone that worked here. But dealing with the unpredictable, as I’ve learned from my time here, is part of being a journalist.

To all of production, the people that work overnight shifts to make sure we get an actual paper out every week day, just know that you guys work the hardest to ensure that we have a product we can be proud of. I never really knew how much sweat and tears you guys poured into this paper until I became an editor and I wish I had more time to help you guys out.

To Kayvon Ghoreshi: I know we always joked around about your love life, but I don’t think anyone ever doubted how dedicated you were to making this paper better. It’s one thing to be complacent with a product, but you always pushed us to improve our material. Thank you for always being a professional and available presence whenever anyone needed you.

To Matt Zabierek: despite your array of hilarious but simultaneously occasionally mean-spirited putdowns towards your employees, I wouldn’t have picked a different managing editor to work with. People always say that work ethic in an organization starts from the top – and I can honestly say you gave yourself for this paper. Thank you for showing me what a leader looks like.

To Kimberly Armstrong, who is entering her senior year as the two-time MVP of the life section, you already know how I feel about you. Regardless of the future, just know that if it weren’t for you dragging me out of bed one cold October morning to come to a Daily Campus meeting, I wouldn’t have met all these incredibly hard working people that make the newspaper what it is today.

To everyone else I haven’t mentioned by name, this is only because I don’t have enough space to include everyone individually. I will tremendously miss all of you – and I will always be grateful for the times we had; for the memories we shared and for how much I’ll always cherish what we did together.


Anokh Palakurthi is associate life editor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at anokh.palakurthi@uconn.edu. He tweets @DC_Anokh.