You can spell several things with the letters in “The Daily Texan.” Anxiety. Denial. Hate. Exile. Death. I tried to make some positive words to mitigate those extremely dark ones but failed to find any.
I’m not going to lie and say I never felt any of these things through my time at The Daily Texan. Anxiously awaiting to hear whether I made staff or whether I narrowly avoided “Worst Of.” Denial that I could get promoted. Hating several of my first wild takes and, occasionally, other people. Death of the soul, as some claim — you lose it once you sign your name on the Employee Handbook.
But I can’t say I’ve ever felt exiled. My first steps into this office were the first steps into a strange, goofy, talented family, and, while any normal person would probably trace those steps back to the exit and proceed to run away, I stayed. It was the best decision I’ve made in my college career.
There are so many memories here that I probably won’t be capable of reciting them all. There’s being awkward the entirety of my first semester; actually, make that my entire career here. Clumsily running a mile, camera in hand, for an assignment. DRAGON KEEPER! Nigel. Surviving endless girl power music on you-know-who’s editing night. Beehr. That hour during tryout selections we spent in the studio. So many life talks. Reminiscing about high school journalism. Falling in love in Kansas. Then getting lost on the Kansas Tollway. Are you Star Wars? Touching Bryan Cranston’s back. Verts — all day, every day. Farting Boston Terriers. Mammatus clouds. Shelbeluga. My occasional inability to speak like a normal human being at meetings. And Marla, well, although I claim she never existed, her spirit will forever remain in the basement.
To all the editors before me, thank you for mentoring me and helping me become the photographer and person I am today. To my current p-staff, thank you for all your hard work this semester and working with me through thick and thin to produce only the best content. We not only managed to survive, but we came out better than we were before. You’re an incredibly talented bunch, and I cannot wait to see where we all end up. Hopefully not sleeping on that green couch. To the rest of staffers, I hope to have left you all with at least some inspiration to continue moving forward in your photo ventures. Don’t stop where you’re at now — if there’s anything I’ve learned from working here five semesters, it is that there’s always room for improvement.
Shoot, I don’t know what college life is like without The Daily Texan. I’m really not sure what I’m going to do with all this free time. I’ll probably sleep more. Honestly, I’ll probably find my way back into this basement with the excuse that I have homework to do and have nowhere else to go. The Daily Texan is more than just a student newspaper — it’s a second home. I’ve learned more here than I could from any classroom or lecture. I have no regrets. Every last minute, all-nighter or tiresome effort I’ve put into this paper alongside all the other crazy people who decided not to run away have been worth it. I could not be more grateful.