For two straight years, I wrote about food on campus every week and earned the title of “the kid who writes Dining Beat.” Looking back, it feels a bit like a fever dream. I still remember being warned that my primary contact was going to be a strong personality. While they were right (sorry, Dennis, no hard feelings), I enjoyed every second of it.
When I started, I had no idea what journalism entailed, but I fell in love with the process and the learning behind it. I enjoyed being awful at news writing. With every article, I was ripped to shreds by a pair of unbelievably kind editors. At the end of every piece, they would comment “Great job!” below a hundred different edits, a celebratory mark on work that now makes me shudder at the thought of it. Still, I felt I was improving with every article and I was always excited for my next interview and subsequent write-up.
Then, March 2020 rolled around. I’ll save the lamenting for another day, but like everyone, I lost many of the campus connections I had just started to develop. As became the new norm, the DC moved to online meetings, hobbling on as the world came to a halt. Every Zoom meeting, every interview and every publication provided a shred of normalcy in a world so ceaselessly strange (remember the “Imagine” incident?), cementing my appreciation for all that writing for News offered.
At the end of my sophomore year — defined by the Sunday meetings scheduled right when I would normally be eating dinner and the writing I did on top of my coursework — I was fortunate enough to become the Associate News Editor. With this came another meeting, this time at 9 p.m., and the chance to further contribute to an organization that had dominated my weekly schedule.
With two years of serving News as one of its editors, I have seen the organization from a new perspective and experienced new joys. Finding the right article topics every week. Working with writers of all experience levels and future plans. Feeling proud of a new writer when they begin to grasp AP style. Celebrating an article that shows the excellence I know our writers can achieve. Working with the section to improve when our coverage fell short. More memories than I can count.
My four years with the DC have taught me so, so much. On a basic level, I learned how to write. Writing two articles a week taught me to be concise, covering what was needed and leaving the rest behind. I’m sure I’ll look back one day at this and laugh as I recall my writing now, but I have the DC to thank for the strides I’ve made.
I’ve learned what it means to lead a section focused on making our campus and the university a better place. News interested me in part because it was a collection of people focused on bringing attention to the events of UConn, both good and bad. I’ve had the pleasure of working with dozens of motivated and passionate students, and I hope they all have gained as much from my time as an editor as I have.
I’ve gotten the chance to reflect on what matters most to me. With only so much time in a day to write or edit, I was effectively forced to decide the topics that drew my attention most, sometimes without even understanding what drew me to them. The DC has called me to critically analyze my interests and beliefs, helping make me into the person I am today.
I can look at this paper — the work of a ragtag bunch of passionate 20-somethings — and feel proud of all we’ve done. I’m eternally grateful for every member of the DC I’ve had the pleasure of working with, and I’m certain this organization has a bright future ahead of it. I see the number of talented people joining the DC’s ranks, and I’m so excited to see what you will accomplish in the future.
I was drawn to News because of the love I have for telling people’s stories, and I am proud to say that the DC will forever be part of mine. As I prepare for law school and life beyond it, I am certain I will carry the lessons I have learned and every memory with pride. Thanks y’all, for everything.
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