Life&Arts editor trades in crown for diploma

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In her five semesters at The Daily Texan, Danielle Lopez worked for the Life&Arts department as editor, associate editor and reporter.
Photo Credit: Daulton Venglar | Daily Texan Staff

Few people know how much the Texan saved me.

Before I became a daily fixture by the basement door, I didn’t really belong anywhere. I was a journalism sophomore who had never written a journalistic piece in her life. 

But two years and thousands of words later, the Texan taught me I’m capable of anything. 

I learned that strangers are my favorite types of people — and no matter how crazy someone seems at first, just listen to them speak for an hour, and you’ll fall in love.

I learned that whatever what my personal problems were, they didn’t matter, because there are always stories much bigger than me waiting to be told.

The Texan led me to people I never thought I’d meet. I interviewed my favorite band, First Aid Kit, before their careers took off. I hung out with Richard Linklater in a hallway of Violet Crown, and I chatted with Lemony Snicket about the Baudelaires’ misfortunes.

But there was also the first woman engineer in Austin, who assured me it’s possible to have it all. There were the men with intimidating beards who showed me how to live life colorfully. There was the bus driver who told me a love story and a couple of insightful filmmakers who said traveling the world would save me one day.

And then there’s Kat. She is the friend I looked for in every person I had ever met in college. She is one of my best friends, my gold dust woman, my sister. Thank you for picking me to be your right hand man.

Cat and Marisa, please know how forever grateful I am to have had you by my side these past few months. You catered to my ever-ridiculous list of demands, humored my bad jokes and taught me loneliness no longer has a place in my world. Moonflower, I’m envious of your relationship with words and AP style. Cat, I can’t wait to see your creativity shine as you become the next L&A queen. 

To the rest of my staff, I say goodbye with a heavy heart. L&A would not be the beauty that it is without all of your hard work. You taught me to be a leader, and you taught me to be kind. 

Jack, Brett and Amy — thank you for encouraging each of my insane projects. And Ginny, Bryce and Daulton — thank you for making each of those projects possible. 

Peter, thank you for supporting me every day for the past year. 

As I take the graduation stage tomorrow, I will walk confidently into adulthood, knowing the Texan will always be behind me. And so, I end my L&A reign with the words my loveliest writer once said to me — I’m more excited today than the first time I walked in here.

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