I joined The Miami Student before I ever stepped foot on campus as a first-year. Before I ever moved out of my childhood bedroom into an empty dorm room across the country. Before I ever sat in my first classroom in McGuffey Hall for an introductory journalism course.
I had talked with several professors about The Student during my first tour. But when I logged onto a Zoom meeting one random day in August, I didn’t realize the handful of first-year students who greeted me would become so much more than my classmates over the next three and a half years.
It was hard as a first-year during the pandemic to make friends and fit in. I never saw a soul roaming the halls of Brandon Hall, and almost every seat in class was vacant. The friends that I did manage to make didn’t understand why I spent my Friday nights cooped up in my dorm room, finishing a story for the school newspaper.
But ever since I joined student media in high school, I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else. I was meant to be a writer. A reporter. A journalist.
And when I walked into the newsroom for the very first time, I realized other people felt the same way. Everyone there was just as, if not more, passionate about journalism than I was, and it was refreshing to have something in common to share.
Over the next several years, we would spend Wednesday nights putting the paper together, Sunday afternoons planning upcoming content and weekends celebrating. I couldn’t remember a time when I wasn’t scheduling three interviews a week, or waking up with the sun to finish an article before its deadline.
The newspaper quickly consumed all of my free time, but I didn’t mind. It felt like it was what I was meant to do.
Now, that chapter is coming to an end, and it’s time to say goodbye to my name in printed ink. To the friends I have made at The Student. To the newsroom. Even though it’s sad, I know this goodbye marks a new chapter in my life and an opportunity to explore new passions.
Being a part of this incredible organization and community has given me so much, and I am forever grateful. It sounds cheesy, and maybe it is, but The Student has brought me a forever best friend, a network of incredibly talented writers and a lifetime's worth of memories.
I’ll hold onto those things for as long as I can. Thank you for the best three and a half years.
Megan McConnell is a senior double-majoring in journalism and psychology from Leawood, Kansas. She has worked at The Student for nearly three and a half years and has held several editorial positions. Currently, she serves as an Assistant Campus & Community Editor.