No matter how hard I try, I can’t think of a good way to start this. I’ve been working here so long that I think I developed some sort of notion that I’d just stay here forever. But in the words of some famous person I’m too lazy to Google, all good things must come to an end. So here I am — staring four years of work with Truman’s student media in the face and realizing that my time is up.
Besides my relationship with some of my closest friends and former roommates — shoutout to Josh, Adrian and Keaton — and my communication major, this has been the only real constant during my undergraduate career. Pi Kappa Phi — my social fraternity — and Phi Sigma Pi — my honor fraternity — have been major parts of my life here, but I’ve only been involved in those organizations for about half of my college career. I’ve lived in two dorms and two houses while I’ve been here, and I’ve even moved back home in Kansas City between semesters. I’ve been dating my girlfriend for well over a year and a half at this point, but of course I experienced some flux in my love life during my time here, too.
In the meantime, I’ve written stories for the Index since the third day of my Truman Week — which I guess is now a relic of the past with the rise of Truman Transformation — and edited for three years. I’ve served as a reporter, news editor, managing editor and editor-in-chief. I’ve spent almost every Monday and Tuesday night of the past six semesters holed up in the TMN Media Center working on the newspaper before our Tuesday night deadline. I’ve written about some incredibly interesting things — a reflection on the life of a former Truman student named Ken Norton who would go on to become a champion boxer, a series about Adair County law enforcement’s fight against methamphetamine, a comprehensive look at the mental health and wellness resources available around Truman’s campus.
How am I supposed to just stop?
In some ways, I must be making this all sound like it’s become routine to me, but really it’s been more than that. I’m going from living a life full of comfortable constants — my friends and fraternity brothers two minutes away at all times, my studies, and my work with the Index week in and week out — to a life focused solely on finding a career. As important as all these other parts of my college career have been, my work at the Index has probably been the most valuable, and it’s set a foundation for me to find success as I leave a workplace that’s become something closer to a home. But that foundation is what makes it so terribly hard to leave — even as I type this column, I’m sitting in the Media Center on Tuesday night even though my last official week as an employee was for last week’s newspaper.
With this foundation in mind, there are a few people I need to thank for investing in and working with me during my time here. To my advisor, Don Krause — you’ve been a huge help to me, especially during my year as editor-in-chief. I can honestly say I wouldn’t have made it to the end without your guidance and advice, and I truly appreciate the hours you’ve set aside for me to ramble at and bounce ideas off you about the challenges I’m facing.
To my past editors, including alumni Robert Overmann, Bethany Boyle, John Brooks and Dan Mika — you all helped me grow into each of my roles here, and I can’t thank you enough. John and Dan, thanks for giving me opportunities to write plenty of news stories my freshman year, even after I turned in an awful first story about freshman enrollment with a sunny first paragraph about how excited all the new students were to move in. I’ve used that as an example of how not to write a news lede for years. Bob and Bethany, thank you for setting the stage for me to be an effective editor-in-chief. I appreciate your belief in me and I’ll always treasure everything I learned during our years working together.
To this year’s media managers, especially seniors Mary Tomlinson and Suzie Nahach, and all of my editors — I know we experienced a lot of ups and downs, but I’m incredibly grateful for all of your hard work and diligence. We faced some challenges, but I think TMN will be set up for success because of them. Seth, you’re going to make a great editor-in-chief, and I’m very encouraged by the hard work you’ve been putting in since we hired you for the position. Johanna, you’ve been the MVP of this whole operation this year, hands down, and I can’t thank you enough for all your hard work, even around your ridiculously busy schedule. To everyone else who will be sticking around, it’s been a pleasure seeing you learn and grow, and I’m excited to see what you accomplish together next year. Also, because of a more than year old pact with outgoing assistant copy chief Molly Thal, I have to mention in this column how she’s always right. But really, I could post an individual shoutout for every staffer and editor I worked with this year. I’ve made a lot of great memories with all of you, and I’m thankful that I’ve been able to be your coworker and friend.
Well, as much as it pains me to admit it, when I finish writing this column, my time with the Index will have officially come to a close. Maybe that famous person I didn’t Google earlier also said this — as one door closes, another one opens. And that’s what lies ahead of me — a new phase of my life, a new door to go through to who knows where. No matter what, I will always be grateful for the growth I’ve been able to experience working here. Thank you to Truman, TMN and the Index for the best four years of my life.