For many graduating seniors, the end of college feels like dying, but, for projects reporter and former life&arts editor Morgan O’Hanlon, maybe death will just feel like graduation.
Her time at UT was strange and disjointed, but, after a first, frustrating and hard year of college at another university, The Daily Texan offered Morgan the semblance of a normal college life.
She began her time at the Texan as an optimistic life&arts reporter, not yet jaded by the repetition of life and the dullness of arts.
Having failed upward through only one semester, she was thrilled to hear that her bosses wanted her to help take over the reins.
As associate life&arts editor, Morgan picked up editing on a steep learning curve. There were long nights and many blinking cursors, but there were also perks. With the help of a media pass, she attended her first SXSW, a generally horrifying experience that made her appreciate the nugs of genius, she gleaned through the capitalist hellscape.
Over the following summer, she transitioned into her favorite time of college: her reign of terror as life&arts editor. Like any college editor, she let the ability to dunk on others’ writing get a little to her head. But between labeling whole chunks of text as “no,” she learned self-respect, God dammit. It was the first time in her life that people described her as scary, and not just as cute or smiley.
Throughout this whole process, Morgan made lasting friendships and some of the most poignant memories of her college experience. Daisy, Justin and Mae were the best coworkers, teachers and friends and playlist-makers a person could ask for. They, and the duties of the job, made her think about questions that matter: What brings a story to life? How can we better represent the voices of marginalized communities? Why does everyone think Chris is hot?
Having spent almost two semesters transforming the section into a project-producing feature factory, Morgan decided it was time to move on to greener pastures …
… only to return eight months later.
For her senior fall semester, Morgan returned to the basement for one last hurrah, this time as a projects reporter.
Her last year in this glorious hole saw Morgan through an emotional roller coaster of front-page stories, mixed success in her classes, breakups and hair dye. Through it all, the Texan, and world-class editors Ellie and Paul, provided her with a constant help focusing on the future.
Now, having slayed the final boss of her last semester, Morgan has decided it’s finally time to let her college journalism days rest in peace.
After her passing, Morgan goes to a place much like the Texan. In the after(grad)life, she heads to Victoria, Texas, where she’ll continue to work on her terrible forehand ping-pong swing for the rest of eternity.