Goodbyes are bitter, but memories are sweet

Illustration by Tj Favela
Illustration by Tj Favela

managing editor

I found The Collegian during a time in my life when I felt lost. I had just made the decision to quit my job and then all of a sudden while walking around the NE Campus and thinking about what my future would look like I remembered the voice of Chris Whitley. 

Taking his class during the previous semester made me think I wasn’t ready to be a journalist but I decided to take a leap of faith and I walked into the office and applied. I may not have known it at the time but The Collegian and everyone a part of it would become an integral part of what made me, me.

My first semester with the team made me realize so many things about myself and also about the world I was preparing to enter. Every step of the way I was met with encouragement and understanding from my peers, even if I doubted myself they were there to look me in the eyes and tell me I could do it.

I started writing about the things I was passionate about, from student affairs to personal experiences, every story formed a new facet of my mind. Finally, I was beginning to feel like I had found a group of people that understood me and my passions. But unfortunately, all good things must come to an end.

The spring semester was wrapping up faster than I could have imagined and with it came the departure of many of my comrades. Michael Foster-Sanders, José Romero, Abbas Ghor, Juan Salinas II and Cameron Webster taught me how to use my voice in a way I didn’t think was possible. They counseled me on my bad days and cheered with me on my good ones, and at the end of it when I felt like I couldn’t do it without them they assured me that I would be fine.

Before I knew it the fall semester was here and with it came the realization that we were starting from scratch. There were four of us left and I had been promoted to managing editor. Honestly, I was scared out of my mind, I still felt like a novice so the idea of being second in command was daunting, to say the least. The amount of times I sat in Chris’ office and expressed my fear of being the wrong person for the job in those first couple weeks is uncountable, but each and every one of those conversations was met with the same unshaken response.

“You wouldn’t have been considered if you weren’t ready,” Chris repeated this mantra to me over and over again until one day I finally started to believe him.

I guess I should’ve known better than to question any of Chris’ beliefs, unfortunately the man is always right.

Chris Whitley and Stacy Luecker are two people to whom I am eternally indebted. They made me feel seen in a world where I felt alone and they gave me the courage to kill the sacred cow and go after my dreams regardless of anyone else’s opinions.

To the team I am leaving behind, I want you to know that you are the most talented group of people I have ever met. Your drive to report the truth and your dedication to our craft has inspired me endlessly. I am leaving a part of my soul with you and in exchange taking a part of it I would have never expected to find otherwise.

I walked into the doors of The Collegian as a confused college student without direction and I’m honored to be leaving as a journalist who may not have all the answers but is willing to walk through the dark to find them.

I may still not love the idea of change but as a great mentor once told me, “change is inevitable, if you’re not moving forward you’re standing still.”

           So here’s to moving forward.