Dear Chronicle,

Wow. It’s over. Two years of paper cycles, interviews, deadlines and distributions is done. Nothing about graduation and leaving has quite hit me yet, and neither has the end of my adventures in room C103. I have changed so much as a student, writer, leader and person over the past two years and I cannot imagine my high school career without the Chronicle in it.

When I joined staff last year (I barely made it, DC put me in the “no” pile) I had no idea what I was in for. The story idea sessions, pitching, interviewing, roasting and “work” atmosphere was fairly new to me. I was thrown into the “world’s worst internship” (as Jess and I like to call it) and had no idea what I would get out of it. Little did I know that the Chronicle would give me so much.

Year one I gained my confidence. I began to get to know other students on staff I had never interacted with before and never would have had we not been placed together. I made friends, learned the importance of good communication, became more professional and found my voice in my writing. I had never looked to writing as an outlet before, but I began to see my style and quickly found my love for it growing. I have always loved being a part of a team, and “chronding” became something I looked forward to and enjoyed. As my confidence grew, I started to pursue bigger stories and decided to pursue an editorial position.

Year two I grew into my own skin. I have always been a mature, nurturing (aka “motherly”) person, but during my first year on staff I tried to please everyone and not bother anyone more than I had to. Boy did that change.

Becoming an editor forced me to toughen up and learn how to manage people (I’m not the Managing Editor for no reason). I managed everything. Laying out pages. Done. Editing stories. Done. Listening to pitches. Done. Sending out passive aggressive (or sometimes just aggressive) emails. Done. Hosting “Hell Weekend” layout sessions and food at my house. Done. Stopping to breathe and roast staff members with Jess. Yep, I did that too.

While being an editor was extremely stressful at times, I would do it over and over again if I could. It taught me valuable life lessons that I will always have with me moving forward. It also helped bring me out of my shell. I became more vocal, even more confident, more decisive, more comfortable being myself. I found topics that I am truly passionate about through my writing. I became the punchline of many jokes and the object of many roast sessions (Charlie and Eric Miller I’m rolling my eyes at you through the screen), and I was ok with it. I made life-long friends that I hope will come visit me in North Carolina next year.

To Mr Conner: Thank you. You have no idea how much your friendship, mentorship and support means to me. I feel truly blessed to have someone like you in my corner, and I have enjoyed changing from a newbie who was scared of you to someone who can work beside you. I promise to keep you updated from Elon, but I won’t come visit until the end of the year (I don’t want to become one of those people). You gave me one of the most meaningful and unexpected compliments the other day when you told Gina that out of everyone you have had on staff I am the one who reminds you most of you. I am honored. Keep sticking it out in your little corner of the room next year.

To Jess: You rock. I could not have asked for a better partner-in-crime. I have never once complained about you (and you know I like to complain about people) because in every decision we have made you have been thoughtful, fair and right. You helped balance me out this year in ways I really can’t describe. I never worried about getting everything done because I knew we would do it together and you would magically make whatever we were working on ten times better. Thank you for trusting me with pages and people I probably shouldn’t have been trusted with, thank you for always letting me in on the decision and asking for my opinion, thank you for letting me roast people and joining in on the fun, thank you for letting me grow into this position and thank you for being a wonderful friend. You have a way with words and I can’t wait to see where it takes you in Charlottesville. They are so lucky to have you, and don’t worry I will definitely come and visit. Love you.

To Disch: You are the reason I applied to be on staff. Sophomore year, during sixth bell Honors English Two, you would come in with your unfinished lunch and talk about the Chronicle almost everyday. You even told me to apply. I will be forever grateful. You are my go-to person. Everything you do, you do it with ease, precision and quality. Nothing slips by you. I wish we had twenty of you on staff. You truly lead by example and every returning member should aspire to work a little more like you. You are the glue that keeps us all together, planning events, making powerpoints, befriending everyone, no matter their experience or grade level. I am so lucky to be friends with you and I can’t wait to see what you do at OSU!

To Eric Miller (honorary senior): Sometimes I actually hate you. Like when you make fun of the Cardinals even though you don’t care about baseball. Or when you make fun of soccer, my food, William and Mary, my opinions about football, etc. Most of the time I love you though. Thank you for including me in sports discussions even though I’m not a sports writer. Thank you for being the third little brother I never wanted. Thank you for making me look short. I don’t really know how to describe our relationship but I appreciate you and I can’t wait to see you lead an amazing sports staff next year. Advice: please make sure you are on top of Bryan and Joey, they will need to help the newbies a ton and sometimes they’re just not productive (love you guys). I can’t wait to see what amazing school you will play football at at I’m hoping it’s one close to me.

To Ashton: Thank you for sharing my no-nonsense attitude. I love sassy Ashton. You rule with an iron fist and I am truly grateful that I never had to worry about money, business or ads. That’s your area and I knew to stay away. Your ability to pick what interests you and throw yourself into it is incredible. I have no idea how you tackle some of the stories you have tackled but they are always amazing and truthful. I truly admire you for your persistence with administration and central office. I know they can be frustrating and it brings me great joy to think about how much they fear a visit from you. I am so happy to have a friend like you and I cannot wait to read your work from OU next year.

To Arnav: Thank you for being diligent, empathetic and loyal to this staff. You are more patient then I will ever be and I am jealous of that. We always joked that you were “Human Resources,” but it’s true. Everyone feels comfortable talking with you and they know you are listening. My favorite Arnav quote is: “Rhode Island is not a state. It’s too small.” I will never let that go. I know this year was rough at times but I’m happy we all made it through with our sanity and friendship. Good luck at Miami, I can’t wait to hear all about it!

To Charlie: You annoy me. Like every day. On purpose. Which is even more annoying. But I love you anyway. Thank you for being the one sports writer we never, ever worried about this year. You always get it done, no matter what the circumstance. I am so thankful for our friendship and your ability to be funny, caring, and mean all at once. Just like my relationship with Eric, I don’t really know how else to put ours into words, so just know that I am extremely grateful. I can’t wait to hear all about UC next year. Also, soccer is much harder than tennis.

To Duncan: You also annoy me. But you’re the better twin so it never really upsets me that much. You sit quietly in your corner of the room and insert a roast, story idea or lead at the perfect time. I don’t know how you do it. Your ability to be thorough, detailed and precise all at the same time is incredible. I love editing you because there usually isn’t much to edit. You are an extremely talented writer and I hope you continue writing in some way, shape, or form next year at OSU. I am more grateful for your friendship than I am for Charlie’s because I like you more (totally kidding). I can’t wait to “see” you as Brutus and here all about your adventures.

To Eric Michael: You annoy me too! Wow, there’s a pattern here. You cannot be trusted with almost anything, you are very spastic, and you say the most ridiculous things. Despite all of this I feel so blessed to have a friend like you. You are caring, funny, and positive when it matters most. I could not have asked for a better Prom Fashion Show partner (because we killed it). You are creative, hardworking when you want to be, and you have the ability to have a conversation with anyone. I know you are going to do amazing things at UC and I cannot wait to see a picture of you at a concert or sports event (maybe hockey?) making a fool of yourself in the best way possible.

To Meg P: Go Pats! Thank you for always rolling your eyes with me at the ignorant insults of others. Thank you for being someone I can always rely on to get it done and to do it right. You are such a people person and your ability to fit in with all kinds of groups and write stories about everyone is awesome. I have never heard you sing so I’m a little annoyed by that. You are a kind, nurturing person who makes sure everyone is included. You may not be to loudest person of staff, but your presence as a writer and friend is always felt. Good luck in San Diego next year and never forget about the brutal Boston winters. I know you are going to do amazing things!

To Jonathan: Thank you for being the only guy in that back corner that doesn’t annoy me on a daily basis. Thank you for having long political discussions with me and writing with the knowledge of an expert. You found your niche so early on, and I hope you stick with it next year (business is dumb, do something more interesting). I am so happy we have become friends over the past two years and I cannot imagine our staff without you. Your sassy political commentary, bromance with Ryan and outbursts with Freddie make class so much more interesting. You are such a talented photographer and I’m counting on you to somehow get a picture of Duncan in the Brutus costume (even though it’s supposed to be a secret). I can’t wait to hear all about The Ohio State University (I hate that so so much, I just cringed typing it) and to see your name associated with a political campaign in the nearby future.

To returning staff members for the 2017-18 school year: You guys can do it. You are all extremely talented and diverse and I can’t wait to read and hear about your success in the coming years. Please follow the deadlines, think everything through, actually pitch a story, not just an idea, stop using stupid excuses, and start covering more CSPN events. Don’t annoy DC too much. Just a little here and there. Please be nice to Asia and Delaney and Luke. They are going to do a great job, but just like me and Jess they will not be perfect and they will make mistakes. I hope you all enjoyed this year on staff and I will miss you all next year. Please come to Elon so I can give you a tour!

And with that, I am officially done with the Chronicle.

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