Originally published in The Daily Toreador.
Author’s Note: This was my farewell column for The Daily Toreador. My time with the newspaper was amazing, and I will probably miss it greatly. I can only hope that I’m moving onto bigger and better things.
The original headline read, “Three and a half years, 80,000 words later.”
When President Obama announced Osama bin Laden had been killed by U.S. troops, one of the first thoughts to go through my mind was, “Man, I’ll probably never get to experience major news like that while in a newsroom ever again.”
See, there’s something special about the fervor over breaking news that you find when you’re hanging out with reporters. Whether the news is good or bad, the electricity in the air can be oddly intoxicating.
But not intoxicating enough to make me change my major from English to journalism. As great as the past three and a half years writing for The Daily Toreador have been, that sort of reporting isn’t exactly my calling, and so this likely marks the end of my time in this environment.
It’s not an experience I would trade for anything, though. I’ve gotten more out of my time here (most of which was spent as your opinions editor) than I got in most of my classes. I don’t mean that as an insult to any faculty here at Tech, but rather as a tremendous compliment to the people who put this newspaper together.
I’ve learned a lot of useful skills, such as AP Style editing, rules of proper journalism, Photoshop and InDesign, teamwork … The list goes on.
I’ve also learned some sad life lessons. For instance, no matter what you do, liberals will accuse you of being too conservative, and conservatives will accuse you of being too liberal.
I’ve had atheists attack me for being Christian, Christians attack me for not being a Christian “correctly” and supposedly mature adults attack me for speaking my mind in a forum in which I’m supposed to speak my mind.
Perhaps most importantly, though, I’ve prevented my Facebook from being hijacked and sabotaged by coworkers, avoided landing on the newsroom quote board for saying something stupid, and never lost a game of chair basketball … mostly because I never played.
I’ve made some great friends during my time here, some of whom are some of the most talented and dedicated people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. I’m sorry I didn’t spend more of my free time with them. I hope they never took it personally when I skipped a party to get some sleep or write a review, but I hope we stay in touch in the years to come.
I joined The Daily Toreador as a columnist in my freshman year only because I wanted something that would force me to write on a weekly basis. I knew I would never finish the great American novel if I didn’t keep my skills sharp.
I’m still working on that novel (it’s coming, I hope), but in the meantime I spent much of my college career writing about things I really and truly cared about, and that’s more important than you might think.
If you’re like me and care about writing in any capacity, you should definitely consider at least applying for a spot as a columnist. The experience has made me a much better writer and has opened a lot of doors for my future career.
If you’ve been a fan of my video game reviews (bless you), know that I’m leaving you to be a freelancer for sites like GameSpot and GamesRadar, which is extremely exciting and something that wouldn’t have happened were it not for The Daily Toreador. So I’ll be around. Tweet at me sometime (@Sargus), and we can talk “Portal 2” or something.
But I’ll probably miss this job more than anything else from my college years. I’m a better person now because of it.
Best of luck to all the new editors and writers. I think the paper is in good hands.
If you never read anything I write again, know it’s been a pleasure writing for you these past few years.
God bless you all.