I must end with a love letter.

As with any semester’s final weeks, I think most students would say they are ready for a break.  We live on coffee (or tea, in my case), spend hours in the library, forget what free time means, and think longingly of full sleep and home-cooked meals. Soon we will all depart for a month of blissful holiday, back to the dear places from which we came.

When I first began my time as editor, when the thought of producing eight pages a week made me question my own sanity, I would think longingly of this last week, when our final issue would appear in print, and the hundreds of emails, story ideas and words to be laid out would no longer be my responsibility. But as I type my last editorial, I am struck by how much I will miss this work.

It’s a job one cannot prepare for. I learned how to delegate, how to ask people for help, how to stay in one room for ten hours while a collection of word documents and pictures became a newspaper. I learned how much fun it is to work so closely with a huge team of people, week after week, to make a tangible project you can hold in your hands and watch your community read.

The best part was the connection I felt to campus. News and reporting opens you up to stories and the people around you in a way nothing else does. I could seek out students and faculty I would not otherwise have the chance to speak with,  listen for story ideas wherever I went. As a senior, I think it is sometimes easy to get lost in the last year, to lose connection to the broader community. The Record grounded my ties, reminded me to stay attuned to the people and places I’ll be leaving sooner than I want to realize.

To that end, I want to thank you, readers, for allowing me the chance to attempt this messy, long and quite fun process of a paper. Thank you to the writers, editors and photographers who contributed the spark and fire to the Record week after week.

A former editor gave me an important reminder before I began this fall: You are just one in a long line of editors. The Record was printed before you, and it will continue to be printed after you. Here’s to our campus, to the papers to come, to keeping alive the stories we’ve told and continuing to tell the ones yet to be.