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Well, we’re finally here.

It’s been four years with The Vermilion, and I’ll have to admit, I’m both relieved and totally unprepared to let this paper and my staff go. It’s been a wild ride and we’ve had lots of sleepless nights, lots of laughs and, for me (and hopefully you guys too), lots of memories.

When I started off as a news writer under Devin Cochran (shoutout to my first editor), I never thought I would stay for so long or love this job so much. He knew, though. Didn’t you Devin? He sat me down one evening, maybe a couple of weeks into my writing for him and said with the biggest smile, “You’ll run this one day. I know it.” (I still have that award somewhere, Dev!)

And here I am. I’ve run it and done it and I’m ready to see the people I’ve grown with take it into their own hands and make it their own.

So here is where it gets cheesy, but bear with me. I have a lot of people to say thank you to.

To Devin, I want to say thanks for being the first to believe in me and push me to love journalism the way I do. I started as a pretty shy writer, but I like to think I’ve grown a lot, and I want you to know you helped a lot with the start.

Leah, Kailey. My fearless leaders, old roommates and friends. Man, I loved every night with you guys (even the late ones), and I was worried when you left. I missed you both every night and I didn’t know if I could keep this paper going the way you guys did, but I hope you think I did a decent job.

Leah, you made me braver. You pushed me to speak my mind and be unafraid to push for more information. It makes it way easier to make all those nagging calls when they won’t give you a quote, that’s for sure. All the talks on our couch help too. Oh, and of course, thanks for the laughs.

Kailey, you’ve been my hero for a while. You’re pretty fearless and you’re one hell of a journalist. I’m glad you’re doing so great in Arizona and I’m super proud of you! Thanks for teaching me writing and web and editing and, well… you get it.

Brianne, Aaron, Hunter, Cole, John, I want to thank you all for the nights that felt endless. All these 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. days got rough, but you stuck through it with me every Monday, and I’ll always be grateful for how hard you guys tried. Thanks for keeping the energy up and laughing long into the night when I was ready to fall asleep over my keyboard checking over the stories for the eighth time tonight.

To the rest of my staff, I want to stay I hope you stay around and grow and learn under The Vermilion like I did. It was life-changing and I have friends here I never would’ve found without it. I know you guys stay busy working on a week-to-week schedule, but you’re all good at what you do and there’s always people here to help you pick up some more skills. It’s been a privilege working with you all and I hope I still hear from you when I’m gone. If any of you ever need me and don’t know what to do, I’m just a text or a message away.

Last, but not least, I want to thank you, the readers, for your time. Thank you for picking up The Vermilion every week that I’ve been a part of it, and I hope you’ve enjoyed the stories and the information you’ve received. We work for you in the hopes that you’ll be satisfied with the newspaper we work so hard to make. Stay with my staff, please. They’re a rowdy bunch, but man, do we have some good writers.

Now, I hate to say it, but this is goodbye. It’s been a journey and I’ve loved it. Good luck, my next Editor-in-Chief. I hope your year feels as full as mine.

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