I have a secret. I don’t tell people because I think it’s a bit embarrassing. I like to paint myself as this confident, fearless gal, but I’m not really.
My secret? I’m a sympathetic crier.
A single hint of tears and my eyes are already welling up. So, when it comes to goodbyes, I’m not really a fan. I avoid them like the plague. On my last day of high school, I left early, too scared to be pulled into an emotional goodbye hug. I was even the last one to turn in this senior goodbye column.
What can I say? Goodbyes suck.
The Miami Student has been such a big part of my life at Miami University. I’d argue that it was my life here. My first day on campus I contacted an editor looking to connect with the News section. I hit the ground running writing pieces on the campus farm, city council meetings, high school Nerf wars and more.
But when the pandemic hit, it was devastating to all first-years. We had just gotten used to being on campus and making friends when we were sent back to our childhood rooms with a state of emergency forcing us to stay inside.
I wanted to transfer out of Miami and shut out the whole world. But for some reason instead, I turned to the only organization still functioning. The Student. It gave me purpose in a time where the world seemed like it had been turned upside down. It’s the only reason I stayed at Miami.
What was supposed to be just a few stories used to keep my mind off things turned into 10. Then 20. Then 50. Now I’m up to 112.
When we eventually came back to campus, I met more people on the staff. And after some weekly wine nights, late-night McDonald’s runs and a few parties with weird vibes, I met some lifelong friends here.
And during that time this paper has taught so much more than I thought was possible from a tiny campus publication. And the best part was everyone around me has been my teachers.
From Madeline Phaby, a former editor for The Student, I learned self-empowerment (she really is a badass). From Tim Carlin, my first editor, I learned everything I know about writing. It’s a gift I won’t ever be able to repay (I still have his voice in my head when I write my ledes).
From Hannah Horsington, our video editor, I learned how powerful honesty can be. It seems simple, but when Hannah does it, it moves you in unexpected ways. From Ames Radwan, our Opinion editor, I learned how to stay positive, even when the world seems hell-bent on plotting against you.
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From our advisor Fred Reeder, I learned how to lead empathetically. And, of course, where, to, put, commas.
I’ve had so many more teachers, but this final one was the most unexpected.
At the end of my junior year I ran to lead the whole paper: Editor-in-Chief. I lost, but what I gained was way more than any title could give me. The editor-in- chief that was elected, Cosette Gunter-Stratton, has been the single best part of my final year at The Student. Her leadership, kindness and strength have taught me so much. I’ve been so lucky to have been able to work with her.
So when the time came to say goodbye to this organization that has given me so much, I hesitated. Maybe I could just skate by and tell people I forgot to write it. Maybe in that way I wouldn’t have to let go.
But as a wise, wise person (Winnie-the-Pooh) once said, “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
I’ve avoided a lot of goodbyes and a lot of tears in my life. But as I sit here now a sniffling mess, I’ve never been so glad I stuck around to the end.
Goodbye TMS. Thank you for everything.