Well, Miami, it’s been four years. This is the last Good Morning Miami column I’ll ever write. It’s the last time I’ll see my name in print in The Miami Student.
I’m both a sentimental and nostalgic person, and I know full well that goodbyes are never easy, but here we are.
This column was gifted to me by a past editor-in-chief, Mr. Jack Evans, and my original name for it, Good Morning Miami, clearly stuck. I’ve written about a lot of different topics — some serious, some lighthearted — but it’s served as my place to strengthen and share my opinion writing voice, and I’m grateful for it.
My time at Miami hasn’t been without its challenges, as I’m sure anyone who attends any college anywhere can attest to, but it’s given me dear friends and a list of experiences — the professional kind that brighten any LinkedIn profile, and the fun kind, the ones that make you laugh so hard you can’t breathe.
A mix of those experiences occurred in our newsroom in Armstrong Student Center. Who could have guessed a room with pea-green walls, endless stacks of newspapers and never enough chairs would have had such an impact on me? Yet it did.
The newsroom is where I cultivated my love of writing and passion for leadership, and it’s where so many different bits and pieces of reminiscing are scattered.
Down the hall from the newsroom is where I took the phone call that offered me my first summer newspaper internship. In that newsroom, in the midst of a culture section meeting, I learned coronavirus would be sending all of us home last spring. At the table outside the newsroom, I transcribed hockey interviews, and I wrote parts of my magazine cover story draft.
The newsroom is where it got so loud during Monday night productions that if I wanted to accomplish anything school related, I had to gather my books and laptop and seek out a quieter space.
This past year, however, it got too quiet, and I would have given so much for the newsroom to be bustling with people, arguing over commas, debating over front page designs and trading jokes back and forth.
I already cherish those earlier, louder years.
The newsroom was a central part of my experience in the journalism major, and I want to take a minute to thank some of my professors. Patti, thank you for your guidance in SPJ and in every kind of writing. Fred, thank you for pushing me to learn AP Style and for your wise advice. Tobin, thank you for the writing critiques and for inviting me to join your Writing Scholars class.
When I started thinking about what it was I wanted to do after graduation, writing became the clear first answer, and because of people like Patti, Fred and Tobin, teaching became the second.
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It truly was a privilege to learn from all three of you.
OK, so that got me a bit emotional, but let’s move forward! Saying goodbye to a place I’ve lived and known for four years isn’t a simple task. Though COVID snatched nearly any normalcy from the last three semesters, I’m grateful for what I did get to experience.
At The Miami Student, I got to write news, culture, opinion, sports, entertainment, food, style, travel — literally anything I wanted, and that was invaluable. I had the privilege of moving up the hierarchy, starting as staff writer, moving to assistant opinion editor to culture editor to managing editor, and during that time, I met many people and made lots of memories.
I remember Duard and Will looking up videos of bugs during production to try and scare me. I remember white Gatorade from Emporium. I remember Megan’s limitless meal plan card that bought food for the newsroom on multiple occasions. I remember the Shots of Shame. I remember Erin’s hilarious one-liners and Rachel’s devotion to tan food. I remember the news editors arguing over commas. I remember writing photo captions for Bo that one time. I remember Kirby’s unwavering dedication to coffee.
And most of all, I remember walking into that room during freshman year, feeling completely unsure and intimidated, and walking out of that room for the very last time in March, feeling proud, nostalgic and accomplished all at once.
The funny thing about change and about endings is the new beginnings it provides, and to me, though beginnings also hold a bit of anxiety, they also hold both hope and promise.
For The Miami Student, I already see that hope and promise. I see it in our new leaders, and I see it in every writer and editor — you each have talent, and I can’t wait to see what you do next.
And for me, that hope and promise resides in New York City, where the next chapter begins, and I can’t wait to get started.
And so, to anyone who’s ever read a Good Morning Miami, thank you so much for reading.
Writing this column has taught me much, and now that it’s really, truly, officially over, there’s only one thing left to say.
Good night, Miami.