Almost four years ago, I decided to move three and a half hours away to attend Indiana State University. What a crazy adventure that has been. When I needed it most, student media gave me a home away from home, friends for a lifetime, and memories that I will never forget.

Over the last four years of my college career, I have worked for the Indiana Statesman in some capacity or another. It started out as a simple news reporter, jumping at each new story with an eagerness to learn. Before my first year was even over, I was promoted to News Editor.

At that time, I thought that would be the greatest highlight of my career. Here I am now, saying farewell as Editor-In-Chief.

This is my senior year, and everything has come to an unexpectedly quick close. COVID-19 has sent us all home to report for an online-only publication. I’m thankful that we have been able to still report on the latest campus news, but I can’t deny this is a bittersweet end.

There is no last night in the office or celebration with my staff. No more late nights working to meet our deadline with the printers. (There is no print paper anymore). No more complaints of being hungry and sending someone for food or just ordering delivery.

At least none of those things for me. There is still a staff to carry on what has been the highlight of not just my college career, but also my life (until the next best thing comes along). The Indiana Statesman is more than just a workplace, it’s a family.

It was a great year. We celebrated new staff members accomplishments, new campus changes, and reported on it all. In the fall, the incoming staff will get to decorate our Leaf of Legacy since the pandemic sent us home early. ICPA awards will be hung up in the new office.

With all that we’ve accomplished, a special thanks needs to be said not only to the editorial staff and writers, but also to our Director of Student Media, Martha Milner. Martha has believed in all of us, constantly pushing us to put out the best paper possible. I know I would not be where I am today without her guidance. So, thank you.

In a way, this column serves as my closure since I do not get to have my last night in the office with the family I’ve made at the Statesman.

It feels surreal to be writing that. I knew this day would come and it still doesn’t feel real. More than anything, I wish I were sitting at my desk writing this letter.

Well, here’s to the future of the Indiana Statesman; may it continue to provide a home for others like me.

As for what’s next for me, I don’t know. Hopefully a job soon, once this pandemic wraps up. Just a matter of time now. I look forward to visiting as an alum.