Established 1826 — Oldest College Newspaper West of the Alleghenies

Closing a chapter

<p>For Lexi Whitehead, The Miami Student has been a place to grow as a journalist, as well as a place she could be herself around all her best friends.</p>

For Lexi Whitehead, The Miami Student has been a place to grow as a journalist, as well as a place she could be herself around all her best friends.

When I first came to Miami University, I knew I wanted to do one thing: join The Miami Student. But I could have never known how important the newspaper would be to my college experience, how many meaningful relationships it would bring me or how hard it would be to say goodbye. 

While I have learned many invaluable lessons about journalism from my time at The Student, they will never compare to the lifelong friendships I’ve made on staff. I’ve joked before that I don’t have any friends outside of the newspaper, but it’s not really a joke. 

So, I wanted to take this time to say thank you to the people who made the stress of college and running a newspaper a little more bearable.

To Hannah Horsington, my first friend on campus, I’ll never forget the time you walked into my dorm room on the day I moved in because I knew we would be fast friends. We were both journalism majors, writing scholars, residents of Thomson Hall and aspiring TMS writers. If we didn’t become friends, we would’ve had to put up with each other anyway.

During that first year, you were always the person by my side at TMS social events, saying things like “I’ll go if you go” and deliberating over the right outfits to wear. Three years later, we’re the ones planning those events and encouraging the timid freshmen that we once were to come hang out with us.

Thank you for sticking by my side from day one until the last. I came to campus scared about how I was going to make friends and you showed up and made it easy.

To Maggie Peña, my partner in crime, thank you for always looking out for me and always participating in my shenanigans. I’m so grateful to have not one, but two friends stick by my side for all four years of college. 

We wrote our first breaking news story together and got to interview Sean Astin. But nothing is more special to me than having you around on a normal day, me sitting on your dorm room floor sophomore year, going on walks to vent junior year and carpooling to meetings this year.

To Cosette Gunter-Stratton, who inspires me every day, I admire all the hard work you’ve put into this newspaper, from becoming assistant culture editors together to watching you take over as Editor-in-Chief. Thank you to whomever decided to bring us up together because I got a new friend and someone to learn with at the same time.

You’ve been the mom friend calling the pizza place when they forgot our cheesy bread because no one else wanted to, making sure we had food at all our productions and hosting “spag nights.” But, you’re also always down for anything I ask, and I won’t forget our numerous impromptu adventures, even if they didn’t always pan out.

To Sean Scott, the new Editor-in-Chief of The Student, I remember seeing your byline in the newspaper during the first semester of my sophomore year and thinking, “Who is this kid?” You were and are an amazing writer, and I was honestly a bit intimidated. We became friends later that year, and soon enough we were running the Campus & Community section together.

You were the best co-editor I could ask for, always on top of the things I wasn’t and never taking things too seriously. More than anything, thank you for letting Hannah, Maggie, Cosette and I adopt you into our friend group. 

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I’m so proud of you, because even though I was amazed by your first few bylines, I’ve gotten to watch you continue to break the scale and I know you’ll keep doing just that. I’ll miss you, but I look forward to seeing what you do next. 

To everyone else on staff, past and present, thank you for making TMS a place where I felt welcome and comfortable to learn and grow. Thank you for supporting me as a writer, and thank you for letting me be a part of something bigger than myself.

My love for this newspaper and for you all has only grown over the years.

On Sunday, after our editor-in-chief elections, several of the staff piled into my living room for an Oscars watch party hosted by Maggie. I never had much interest in watching the Oscars, but I didn’t want to miss a chance to be with everyone I have grown so close to these few years. 

We ate pizza and laughed and talked over the commercials and categories we cared less about, and I thought how hard it was to think about it all coming to an end soon.

It’s like reading a really good book, one so good you never want to flip the last page. You want to savor it as long as you can but, as you go on, the number of pages diminishes until there’s none left. And you simply have to face the reality, close the book and move on to another one.

I don’t know what’s in store for me next, but I can only hope it’s as good as what these past four years have offered me.