As of June 12 — the Class of 2021’s graduation day — I’ve been reporting, producing and editing at the Daily Emerald for a total of 1,338 days. 1,338 days of frantically finishing my stories before deadline, 1,338 days of learning the power of journalism, 1,338 days of making the best friends I ever could have had.
Near the beginning of my freshman year, I started at the Emerald as a news reporter, unsure of whether I wanted to pursue journalism at all. (As I’ve told many Emerald reporters over the years, I started college studying economics and financial math. Gross.) I still remember my first moments in the newsroom: I got my headshot taken, watched the other news reporters — my soon-to-be co-workers — discuss design elements for the print edition and was just surprised by the number of people in the newsroom.
Journalism means everything to me. It’s become a crucial component of my identity, something I think almost everyone at the Emerald could say. Studying in the School of Journalism and Communication brought me new skills, challenges and visions of the future.
I could have never imagined that I’d be preparing for a news reporting internship at The Wall Street Journal after graduation, or that I’d be reporting on music, entertainment and gambling. I also would have never predicted that the Emerald would become my entire life.
Thank you to all the editors, mentors and friends who have encouraged me, reminded me of upcoming deadlines and stayed up late to submit assignments at 11:58 p.m. If you’re reading this, you’re likely one of them — there’s simply too many to name. But I will thank Ardy Tabrizian, Duncan Baumgarten and Em Chan for being the best friends anyone could ever have.
I’m proud to leave the newsroom in the hands of capable, talented and amazing reporters like Sarah-Mae McCullough and Jael Calloway. You both will do great things, whether you think so or not. (Hopefully, you do think so.)
To everyone in the Emerald newsroom, whether we’ve spoken one-on-one or not, savor this moment. It could be over sooner than you think, but it could also turn out better than you could have possibly imagined. This isn’t a farewell — far from it. It’s the beginning of something new. In the words of the Emerald’s unofficial motto, always remember to Fuck Shit Up!