NOTICE: The views expressed in The Vermilion's opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect those of The Vermilion staff or of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

“Well, this it it, y’all.”

My predecessor, Seth Dickerson, wrote that a year ago in his departing letter to this paper, and I really can’t think of any better way to start my own farewell to this paper that is so much more than a student newspaper to me.

In the past two years, The Vermilion has been everything to me. When I started working here as  a reporter and copy editor, I was utterly terrified of anyone and everything around me — with or without a pulse. Two months from now, I’ll be moving to New York, a city I’ve never even visited, to wrestle the urban reporting program at the City University of New York. I credit this paper for pushing me as a writer, a student and a person, and for helping me become the woman I am today.

I entered my reign as editor-in-chief with stars in my eyes and a galaxy of ideas and plans — most of which I am proud to say we accomplished. We increased our social media presence and increased our staff to include diverse students from all different walks of life on campus. We installed a new website design, and even bought a video camera. But most importantly, I made sure that the people I’m leaving this precious paper to love this paper probably just as much as I do.

With a mix of buffalo wings, sarcasm and journalism flowing through their veins, the editorial staff next year are complete boss bitches. (Plot twist: It’s basically everyone except for me.)

To my managing editor Devin Cochran, my official designated “second” for duels to the death: Thanks for taking all of my sass with such grace. You basically live in a forest from all the shade I throw at you at a daily basis, but you know I only do it because I love you and your bald head. You’re gonna be a badass feature writer one day, and I can’t wait for the day I read your spread in GQ. Or the day you don’t let our snap streak die after five days.

To my favorite full-time troll, part-time web aficionado Kailey Broussard: My, how you’ve grown! It feels like yesterday that you were crawling around the Verm and puking out award-winning features. Oh wait, you still do that. Girl, you’re an incredible writer and webmaster, and it’s been such a privilege working alongside you these last two years. There’s no doubt in my mind that you’re going to graduate from this grueling journalism program as one of the fiercest reporters Lafayette has ever churned out.

To my squad Leah Cavalier and Garrett Ohlmeyer (Leah’s going to hate that I put them in a paragraph together): I don’t know how I could have possibly gotten through this school year alive or sane without the two of you. You both have become such a big part of my life, and it’s crazy to think that a year ago I didn’t even know y’all existed. You both came in and within two months were both promoted to editorial staff, and neither of you have done anything to make me regret that decision. Leah, you are either one of the strongest or bitchiest women I have ever met, and I’m sure you’re going to be forever fantastic at whatever you decide to do. Garrett, honestly, the level of hype you bring into the newsroom and my life every day is exhausting, and I implore you to switch to decaf vanilla lattes. To you, I bestow upon you the wish that senioritis does not hit you next year because the momentum you are working at is incredible. I’m sure you’ll make your final year of school your bitch if you keep at it.

To Olatunde Soyombo, my favorite 32-year-old bicycling saxophonist: I’m so glad you decided to join our band of merry men at the Verm. It’s been great cutting up in class with you for the past two years, and your refined Spotify playlist has added a false sense of calm to Monday’s production nights.

I’m not really good at goodbyes, so I’m just going to cut it off here.

So long, guys. And thanks for all the fish.

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