From the moment I accepted a position as an eager sports writer my junior year, I knew my time at the Truman State University Index would be special.

Now as graduation approaches and I leave the Index as an editor, I can say I created countless memories and made lasting friendships while working for the Truman Media Network. In my last story ever, I thought it was necessary to take a moment to thank a handful of people before I head out into the great unknown called adulthood.

First off, I would like to thank TMN alumnus Scott Kriegshauser. If it weren’t for his invitation to join the Index crew, I never would have stumbled upon such a great opportunity.

A simple email asking for sports writers drew me in, and from then on, I was hooked. Kriegshauser also introduced me to broadcasting on KTRM. I was presented with the opportunity to take Kriegshauser’s place on the radio during football games with Henry Janssen, 2014-15 Index staff reporter, and I had an absolute blast doing it.

There are very few student athletes who can say they played collegiate sports, worked as an editor for the school newspaper and were a sports commentator for a radio station, and I can proudly say I have done all the above. With a little courage, I even tried my hand at the camera crew for TMN TV.

Without Kriegshauser, I would have missed out on many great opportunities, and I am so grateful he extended the invitation.

Next, I need to thank the top Bulldogs at the Index, including senior Emily Wichmer, senior Austin Hornbostel and senior Bethany Boyle. During my time as a sports writer, I tried to absorb as much information as I could about Associated Press style, the interviewing process, and how much it really takes to put a newspaper together each week.

While I kept working and my writing progressed, I was offered the chance to become the assistant sports editor at the end of my junior year. To be honest, this offer was a complete surprise to me — I had no idea a position was available on the Index executive staff, let alone that I was in the running.

I cannot thank Wichmer, Hornbostel and Boyle enough for believing in me and my capabilities. I have learned so much from you three, and it has been so rewarding to work under you.

Next is my trusty sidekick, senior Devin Gillespie. I wouldn’t have gotten through this year without you. From teaching me the ropes to letting me take the lead at times, I could not have asked for a better sports editor than you.

When I first started as an assistant editor, I was timid and scared to ask questions. You helped me out every step of the way and made working at the Index so much fun. Even when we were up until 3 a.m. finishing our section, there was never a dull moment. Also, I appreciate that I can always count on you to understand my “SpongeBob SquarePants” references.

Dev, you’re the best.

To the rest of the Index team, thank you for accepting me into your family. Being a part of the Index crew was something I never expected coming into college. When I started at Truman as a freshman, I thought my only family would come from my basketball team — I was quite wrong.

Every time I come into the office to work, I am greeted by friendly, hardworking people who all have the same goal as I do — to produce an excellent newspaper. Because such dedicated people have surrounded me week after week, I pushed myself to be the best editor I could be.

Finally, to my new editors for the 2016-17 school year, Seth Wolfmeyer and Rachel Steinhoff — thank you for believing in me and trusting me as an editor. You two were some of the most dedicated writers I have seen, and you were not afraid to come to me for advice and guidance.

Now, as editors, you guys are going to do big things for TMN. Although Devin and I will not be around next year to help you guys, I am confident you two will do a great job and will leave your mark on the paper. I hope I made writing fun for you, because I sure had fun working with you and reading your work.

I cannot put a price on my time at the Index and how important it is to me. It has shaped my school career and potentially my professional career. I have met some of the most hardworking people on campus, and I have learned more than I ever thought possible. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the Index.