Like most of you, I have been in school since the tender age of five years old. I can still remember waking up early on my first day of kindergarten, begging my mom to hurry and help me button up my jumper, scarfing down a plate of waffles and imagining all the things the school year had in store for me.
Like many of you, this will be my very last week of school. Though, of course, real learning never stops and all that, it’s strange to think that in a few days I will be completing a goal set in motion almost 17 years ago.
I’ll be stepping out into the big-girl world, with a big-girl job, doing grown-up things.
But as I prepare to embark on the next big chapter of my life, I must first end one that has spanned across my four years here at the University of Mississippi: my time at The Daily Mississippian.
On my first day of class my freshman year, I decided I needed to change my major from psychology to journalism a few hours after I woke up. I didn’t even bother going to my first psych class; I just marched right up to the Meek School of Journalism and New Media and asked how to declare myself a print journalism major. I told them I wanted to be an editor someday. They smiled and told me I should apply at The Daily Mississippian.
By the end of my sophomore year, I was being introduced to the talented, intelligent, always supportive and ever beautiful Zoe McDonald, who would be my partner and co-editor for the lifestyles section at The DM. She would quickly become my personal role model and hero, and I will forever be proud of the amazing spirit and dedication she puts into every single thing she writes.
I knew from the get-go we would make a great team. Under the leadership of Logan Kirkland and Clara Turnage, Zoe and I worked together to do more than just cover local concerts and publish reviews. We made the lifestyles section into something we were both proud to call our own, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Working at The DM will probably go down as one of the best jobs I’ll ever have. Every time I came into the office, I knew I was in for a few hours with some of my best friends, laughing, cracking jokes and putting together a paper we were always proud to pick up the next day.
I was lucky enough to have the creative freedom to write everything from feature stories on the history of The Lyric, to a monthly horoscope column, to the history of the Egg Bowl, to a story in our award-winning Red Zone edition about the dangers of falling into a false sense of security walking home at night. And every single time I wrote anything, I always had the support of fellow staff members like Clara and Zoe reminding me they were proud of me.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t sad to be writing the end of this huge chapter of my life, but I know the friends I have made through working in student media and the memories and laughs I’ve shared with so many wonderful people as a result of my time there will last forever. I hope one day I’ll share as much laughter working in an office as I have these past few years with all of you.
So thank you to Zoe, to Clara (who hired me in the first place), to Ms. Pat, the lifestyles writers and to all my coworkers at The DM. And thank you, readers, for putting up with me, even when your horoscopes were crappy. Look for me out there in the big-girl world!