At my last end-of-the year picnic with The Spectrum, I was given the stunning paper plate award, “Least likely to be a journalist.”
It’s a bit of an inside joke for the staff and me.
I started as a staff writer on the arts desk and eventually became the senior arts editor — and if I do say so myself, I was pretty good at it.
But I don’t like journalism. I really don’t — not writing for journalism, anyway.
I have one person to credit for roping me into this world of reporting: former managing editor Justin Weiss.
If anyone has ever met Justin, you know he’s about the best person in the world. Even after graduating, he remembered to wish me a Happy Lana del Rey Album Drop Day. He’s impossible to say “no” to.
So when I finished ENG 394, a course taken purely for honors credit, and Justin asked me to become an assistant editor, well, there was really only one option for me.
Now, I’m so grateful I told him “yes” — if not for the writing experience, then the incredible and talented people I’ve had the fortune of meeting. I consider some of them my closest friends.
I joined The Spectrum at a weird time for me. The pandemic still had its claws deep in our lives. I was drifting through school without any real anchor.
Now, I couldn’t imagine my college years without it. Even when I tried to get away, I couldn’t quite sever myself from this production. I transitioned from senior arts editor to social media coordinator just to remain close. (Thank you Grant and Anthony for convincing me to stay on.)
Thank you to the staff that welcomed me on board for being such an open and friendly group. Despite my apprehension and anxiety when I first walked into the office, I found confidence and comfort among you all. I’ll miss you guys, a lot.
Grant — what can I even say here? You’re one of my best friends and I am so, so excited for you to be the next EIC. You’ve more than deserved it.
From ranking fraternities and sororities on their gayness, to nights at Marcella’s and Jack Rabbit, to accidentally trapping you at my house after a party, my best memories are with you.
I’m sorry for all the s—t I gave you about being late to Spanish class and your tardy assignments. I get it now — punctuality is hard when your life is spread thin. Please try to get some more sleep, though. I won’t stop bothering you about that.
Anthony — you truly are the only person I ever want to be complete trash with. Even after graduation, I’m expecting to share atrocious McDonald’s creations and drunk ciggies with you. No one else understands the value of a garbage lifestyle.
I’m so glad you aren’t and were never that toxic masculine straight-man I initially thought you were, and I’m sorry for my presumptions in that matter (to be fair, the eighth grade basketball boy style didn’t help).
Thank you for being such a fantastic leader this year. You’re exactly what the office needed.
Andrew — let me first say I’m excited for us to leave The Spectrum and finally pursue our true calling as stay-at-home trophy spouses. Do noon brunch reservations work for you?
In all honesty, out of everyone, you probably deserve a break and bottomless mimosas the most. You truly are the man of everything.
Thank you for doing my job the majority of the semester, and being a steady force amidst all my chaos. On your resume, you definitely deserve the title of social media coordinator far more than me, and everyone should know that.
Moaz — just thank you for putting up with me and my constant and unwarranted antagonizing. I hope you know I am insanely jealous of all that you’re able to do (if there’s a modern renaissance man, it’s you) and cannot wait to see everything you accomplish in the future. Please never change in your generosity and ability to completely light up a room.
Meret — you are the best senior arts editor The Spectrum has had, and I have never been prouder to pass my position on to someone else. Thank you for being as incredible as you are and ensuring that the arts desk continued to thrive when I threw a wrench in it.
Darcy — every time I come into the office and see you, it puts a smile on my face. I don’t quite remember matching on Tinder with you, but I will cherish every memory since then, from our talks in the office to hanging out in Grant’s apartment. I’m so happy we got to be friends.
Kiana and Victoria — I wish you the most fruitful happy hours in the future and pray neither of you lose your spark of delusion — I know I won’t.
Amy — you were and will always be my lesbian ally in the office. Please make smart choices when drinking (and if you don’t, I better at least hear the updates that come from your shenanigans).
Emma and Katie — you two are some of the coolest people I know. The best conversations always come when either of you are around, and I have both of you to thank for bearing the burden of my oversharing.
Alex — I’m sorry, I can’t say goodbye to you here. Then, I really will cry. I am so, so proud of you. Thank you for listening to me and joining The Spectrum (even if it was a step in my plan to leave the arts desk). I’m so happy we got to share the office this semester and that I got to read and edit your stories. I’m always amazed at how much of you you can keep in them. I love you, and I really hope I get to see more of your writing in the future.
Thank you to everyone who made this time so special. Every member of this staff will always have a piece of my heart that I’m so happy to carry beyond this campus.
Kara Anderson is the social media coordinator and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kara Anderson is a senior arts editor at The Spectrum. She is an English and Spanish double major and is pursuing a certificate in creative writing. She enjoys baking chocolate chip cookies, procrastinating with solitaire and binging reality TV on the weekends.