A fond farewell: Thanks for an amazing four years

I remember the night I came home after my first day at college.

I was on the verge of tears as I explained my day to my parents. I felt so terrified and lost and alone.

After a few weeks, I became accustomed to having minimal interaction with my classmates, and I looked forward to working off-campus every day.

I put up with feeling disconnected from my college until Spring Semester of my freshman year-when I simultaneously dropped off an application to The Chronicle and picked up information about running for student government. I figured whoever talked to me first would get me.

Of course, the politicians pounced.

After losing in the final election by three votes, and never hearing from Chronicle editors, I thought my chance at getting involved was over.

But then came the voice on the phone two days after elections, apologizing for not getting back to me earlier.

I interviewed, took the job no one wanted-pulling wire-and I’m still doing it four years later, no matter how hard I’ve tried to pass it off to someone else.

Now, as I sit here writing this four years later, I know that I’m going to pull wire at The Chronicle for the last time.

While I could never dupe anyone into that job, I’m grateful for a thousand other experiences I’ve had here. The one thing that I’ll never be able to thank Chronicle staffers enough-or condemn them enough-for, is turning me into the person I am now.

When I first started here, I was the shy, quiet girl in the corner who was terrified to talk to Union Director Whit Hollis about why he planned to close the Union art gallery-an issue many Chronicle editors thought was a terrible move.

I remember walking into his office, sitting down, and being immediately drawn to his Southern charm and omnipresent laughter, but I was still shaking as I took notes.

Now, we hug when we see each other. He still teases me about how scared I was the first time he met me because now I’ve turned into the loudmouth, in-your-face woman in the center of the room.

I don’t think I would have shed my shell and stepped up if I wouldn’t have had guidance from people like professor Jim Fisher and Matt Canham, my first editor in chief. They are two people I have come to depend on at my weakest moments, and they have never failed me, even when I’ve called up in a panic from 1,000 miles away.

I have seen the world while working at The Chronicle-I’ve toured through India, the Philippines, Mexico, Poland, Bulgaria and Israel-and it’s only helped me understand my world more as a journalist. I’ve been blessed by working with people at The Chronicle who truly are diverse in all aspects. I wish the U in its entirety could generate the respectful, intelligent conversations I’ve been so lucky to engage in about people’s various beliefs and backgrounds.

I can never thank The Chronicle’s staffers enough for challenging me in ways I never thought possible and dealing with my temper tantrums that have made the glass walls in the office shake with my rage.

I couldn’t have asked for a more understanding, intelligent and thoughtful group of people to work with. They have turned my college experience from one of solitude to one where, as I shut my office door for the last time, I know that I’m going to be on the verge of tears for an entirely different reason.

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