With most of my work at The Index being completed in a rush of adrenaline and deadlines, I can’t think of a more fitting way to conclude my time here than finishing my last column three hours after it’s due. Although I can’t sum up all my experiences here in 500ish words, I will try to explain what it all has meant to me.
Joining The Index wasn’t exactly in my plans when I came to Truman State University. As a naive freshman whose only personality traits were running and being from Maryland, I figured I could get by with those credentials. Several injuries and some homesickness later, however, I found myself wanting more out of the college experience.
I became a Student Advisor my sophomore year in hopes of getting more involved at Truman. Interacting with residents each day exposed me to so many different backgrounds and stories that fascinated me. Though SAs often dread the end-of-the-night duty log, I loved being able to bring students’ daily adventures to life through writing. After a while, I realized this passion could serve a deeper purpose across our campus.
That drive to bring people’s narratives to life is what eventually brought me to The Index. When I first walked into our newsroom my junior year, I warned staff members that I was pretty busy with Res Life and running, looking to maybe write a couple of pieces here and there. Little did I know I would soon be devoting many late nights, early mornings and weekends to writing, editing, designing and interviewing.
But when I think about The Index, that isn’t what comes to mind. Instead, I reflect on the undeniable aura of encouragement, determination and excitement that radiates during each production night. I remember the random office debates, slap-happy 3 a.m. conversations and puns — oh, so many puns. Most of all, I’m reminded of the endless potential we all have through the process of creativity and collaboration.
Despite the occasional lack of sleep, interview anxiety and hassle of Associated Press style, this organization has given me so much joy. People often ask why I put so much effort into a scholarship job, and admittedly I do too, sometimes. But every time I walk back into that newsroom, the reason returns. The combination of fun and focus keeps me coming back, each time more motivated to produce a great paper with fantastic people.
To our editorial staff, thank you for putting up with my off-topic rants and procrastination tendencies. To Ryan, your calm demeanor has kept us afloat through even our most stressful nights. To Beth, I’ll always appreciate your love for wordplay … and your valiant attempts to use chiller font. To Julie, your eye for precision (and headline talent) has helped our staff so much over the past year. To Rachel, you’re going to make an amazing editor-in-chief next year with the mix of dedication and humor you bring to any situation. To Genna, I’ll miss all our design plunders and getting hysterical over InDesign issues, but you’re going to do awesome things as features editor. To Anakin and Sami, I’m glad we were able to work together on this last paper, and I can’t wait to see what you accomplish next year. To our copy editors, we couldn’t do any of this without your attention to detail and helpful suggestions. To my writers, I am always so impressed with the work you put into every story, column and review. You all make this whole experience so worthwhile.
And to anyone thinking about working at The Index — take the chance. You won’t regret it.