This isn’t my goodbye to UB, but it is a goodbye to The Spectrum and the dominant experience of my college years. More importantly, this isn’t a goodbye to my friends, but it is a thank you.
When I walked into the office freshman year, terrified of an editing quiz and all of the seemingly-always-have-their-lives-together people, I never knew it would become such a big part of my life. I didn’t know it would be where I met the majority of my friends in college, where I’d finally get the courage to publish something I wrote, or where I’d spend what felt like 90% of my semester.
I’ve learned a lot during my time at The Spectrum: AP style, what a nutgraf is, way more sports positions than I ever wanted to know, and how to be the person I want to be.
I’m heartbroken that our semester ended up like this. I miss walking into the office knowing I would get Sam’s stromboli, Justin’s high-fives and Jacklyn asking if I want her to save me a piece of cake when I “come home” more than I could have expected. The frustration, the tears and that one production day that went until 4:30 a.m. when I had to get up two hours later for finals were all somehow worth it.
To The Spectrum and to my friends, I can’t sum it up better than Glinda and Elphaba did: I have been changed for the better because I knew you.
To my non-Spectrum friends (especially Ian!), thank you for always letting me talk about what was going on in the office and being genuinely interested, even when I went on for way too long and in way too much detail. I hope you don’t mind if it takes a bit for me to find a new personality.
To Cassi, I love you more than words. I couldn’t have done anything in the last ten years without you — okay, maybe one or two things, but I wouldn’t have wanted to. You truly are my best friend, and you know half the reason I’m writing this goodbye column is so I have another excuse to play my favorite game, “I Love My Beautiful Best Friend Cassiana Rose Enderle.” Thank you for constantly inspiring me and helping me grow, being your best friend is the best thing I’ve ever done.
To Alec, I can’t explain how much I appreciate you always listening to my ideas, my problems and my pointless thoughts. From the first day we met, you’ve encouraged me in every one of my endeavors and let me be there to cheer you on in all of yours. Whether I was so tired I cried or overwhelmed with nerves before an interview, you supported me through it (and made me grilled cheese after it). Thank you for always letting me come over after a long day, reading my first drafts and understanding when I had to put our Sunday brunch dates on hold. Peanut butter pancakes are only worth stealing if I'm stealing them from you.
To Savanna, I literally wouldn’t be writing this without you. Thank you for making me finally pursue my journalistic (read: editing) dreams, and thanks for making sure the office always had chips and queso.
To Nicole, the first time we ever Snapchatted was in the office we ended up sharing, and talking about The Spectrum the night of the Christmas party is one of my favorite memories from last semester. Disappointing Galina by ruining my palette is more fun when it’s with you.
To Jacklyn, you are the best immediate boss I’ve ever had, and I’ll compare every job until my retirement with being your assistant. I look up to you more than you know and I hope one day I can be half as strong as you are.
To Ben, I’ll miss all of the Soulja Boy jokes, ridiculously obscure, yet useful, knowledge and girls’ room discussions. You are one of the smartest people I know and I’m honored I get to call you, the one and only grandfather of journalism, a friend.
To Brent, the editor-in-chief who appreciated every member of staff and made sure they knew it. Thank you for trusting me when I almost definitely did not have the right experience. I hope I made you proud (even if the Robert Pattinson column didn’t).
To all my other Spec-chums, I am so proud of you and can’t wait to see what else you go on to do. Whatever it is and wherever you are, you have my heart and all my support. And for those of you still at the paper, I hope you don’t mind me coming home every once in a while.
Lauryn King is in denial that she’s no longer the assistant managing editor and can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @LaurynSKing.
Lauryn King is the assistant managing editor for The Spectrum. She’s a busybee and copy editor at heart.