All good things must come to an end. And today one of the best things I was able to experience at UConn is over. After more than a hundred opinion columns and dozens of editorials the time has come to say farewell to the Daily Campus. In less than two weeks I will say goodbye to UConn as well.
I joined the paper at the beginning of my freshman semester back in the fall of 2015. I had been developing an interest in politics during high school, and I was eager to share all the brilliant ideas I had and sway countless people to my point of view. I quickly learned a bit of humility and realism, but I found that it didn’t much matter to me whether one person or a hundred were reading my articles. Sometimes, there are things that simply need to be said. It’s in a way cathartic to take an issue that you feel passionately about and speak your mind. I learned that an opinion column not only serves to convince others but is an outlet for the writer themselves.
After four years I feel an old man at this establishment. I suppose it would explain my grumpy demeanor and desire to move my dinner time earlier and earlier in the afternoon. But I’ve been privy to a great deal of memorable experiences during my time at the DC. From becoming the boss of the person who originally recruited me to spectacularly failing in a hot dog eating contest to being the voted the “Most Sarcastic” member of the paper I have a treasure trove of memories.
At the Daily Campus I’ve had the privilege of leading the opinion section alongside Emma Hungaski for two years. Let me just say that without Emma this job would have been way less fun and much harder, and I can’t thank her enough for all that she’s done. When we took over, we had five total writers including us, and we didn’t have a very good idea of where we wanted to take the section. But through hard work, perseverance and a little luck, we’ve seen the opinion section grow during our time. This year we had about 20 writers at one point or another contribute articles. We’ve expanded our content diversity with Science Friday (yes we did steal the name from NPR), and our Monday Musings podcasts that allow us to delve deeper into important topics. The best part for me personally has not been the quantity but the quality of the work I have seen from our columnists. Whether it is exploring unique topics or pursuing a perspective I had never considered, the opinion writers never cease to impress me. I am proud I was able to lead such a gifted team.
It goes beyond just the section that has been my home through college. I’ve been extremely lucky to work for and alongside outstanding individuals during my time at the Daily Campus, from serving under two incredible Editors in Chief (Molly Stadnicki and Chris Hanna), one awesome Managing Editor (Stephanie Sheehan) who also happened to be the main Opinion page designer, and a Digital Editor (Connor Donahue) who has been outstanding in helping us with our online content, especially our podcasts. The editors of the other sections have also been a pleasure to work with, despite the occasional friendly discussion about the comparative merits of our areas. Additionally, I can’t thank enough all the copyeditors, designers and other workers who make publication of our newspaper possible. Frankly everyone deserves further merit for putting up with my constant stream of sarcasm throughout my time here.
Saying goodbye elicits many different emotions. Fondness for memories created. Regret for the ones we did not. Anticipation for what lies ahead. Melancholy for those we leave behind. The truth is that like anything, saying goodbye is not black and white. It’s a whole big mess of gray; some positives, some negatives. I will very much miss the Daily Campus, both for the job I enjoyed and the people I befriended. But at the same time, I am excited for what the future will bring.
Jacob Kowalski is opinion editor for The Daily Campus opinion section. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.