For associate managing editor, three years at the Texan was a ‘time to be alive’

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Nick Castillo worked for the Texan for three years. He spent the majority of his time in sports as a sports reporter, senior sports reporter, associate sports editor and double coverage editor. He spent his final semester as an associate managing editor. He regrets not being able to mention all the great people he’s met in the basement.
Photo Credit: Rachel Zein | Daily Texan Staff

Editor’s note: A 30 column is a chance for departing permanent staff to say farewell and reflect on their time spent in The Daily Texan’s basement office. The term comes from the old typesetting mark (-30-) to denote the end of a line. 

I turned out the lights in the basement for the final time Thursday night. 

Three years, over 200 articles and one crazy semester in the management office later, my time at the Texan is over, and it’s fine. Everything is fine. 

There’s only one way to describe my time at the Texan, and it’s my go-to phrase: “What a time to be alive.” Why? Because the friends and memories made it the best time to be alive.

Sure, the writing and editing has helped me, but you can do those things anywhere. There are few places as special as the Texan.

I came to the office my first semester at UT and somehow made the sports staff. Thanks for hiring me, Chris.

For some reason Stefan promoted me. Then Garrett kept me on senior staff, and Jori hired me to run Double Coverage. 

Thanks to all the DC writers, who made it great. Special thanks to Amy, Blanche and Iliana — without you three, the publication wouldn’t have been as amazing as it was. 

The Texan also gave me a ton of opportunities. I covered Texas volleyball during its insanely successful run. Then I covered an awful Longhorn baseball team that found a way to win the Big 12 tournament. 

Don’t forget the one-day trip to South Bend to cover Texas–Notre Dame. The 38-3 Longhorn loss wasn’t the worst part, though. Car rental problems and having to sleep in O’Hare for a 6 a.m. return flight wasn’t too fun. Thanks, TSM. But it really was a great time. 

The football beat was exhausting but rewarding.  I’m not sure how I survived. 

More importantly, I made some great friends at the Texan. 

From hanging with Akshay in and out of the office — laughing at our bad bits and the memorable times in our lives. 

To spending two great semesters in media row with Jacob. 

To meeting Aaron, whose unquenchable desire for success has been impressive. 

To laughing at all the things Blanche would say — there’s a whiteboard full of those bizarre quotes.

Traveling and spending time in the press box with Ezra. Listening to Shap’s banter. It was all “huge time.”

Then there are Amy and Jackie, who made this last semester fantastic. I’ll always remember the barrage of text messages and laughs in the office. Thanks for putting up with  my saltiness. 

I’ll miss the basement. I was always excited to make the trek down to the office. I was never sure how a night would go, but I was always amazed how it would all come together.

I won’t miss InCopy crashing, InDesign doing weird things, missing deadline and leaving the office at 3 a.m.

But I’m sure there’ll be times when I’ll want to get back to being the kid in the basement.

Sadly, it’s time to move on.

The office lights are off. The door is closed. 

Man, what a time. 

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