Journalism graduate student is sentimental about the student newspaper

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In just over two months, I will be graduating from college.

It’s crazy to think how much and how little time it is.

Four years ago, I had never heard of the University of Miami or known that there was a city called Oxford. All of the schools I applied to were mostly in-state and I didn’t move to Miami until the Decision Day deadline – May 1, 2018.

I was committed to Mount Union University until I woke up one day and decided I didn’t want to go.

That same day, I had received my financial aid package from Miami. They gave me twice as much scholarship as Mount Union and the tuition was almost half the price.

I had toured with my dad and the campus was beautiful. But I was not going to turn down the huge amount of scholarships I received from any school.

Choosing journalism as my major was a shot in the dark. I won my high school English department award and wanted to do something with writing, but I didn’t just want to be a teacher. Not yet anyway.

I didn’t know anyone going to Miami and it was four hours from home – the farthest I’ve ever been. It was a conscious but risky decision.

I wanted to experience “going away” to college. I implored freedom from my parents. I wanted new sets.

Before the semester started, I received an email from a James Tobin asking me to attend the introductory journalism course, as he was impressed with my admissions essay on coming out.

Journalism 120 changed my life and ignited my passion for writing in a way I had never experienced before. At the end of the first class, Tobin and UA showed the class around The Miami Student’s newsroom.

My high school didn’t even have a newspaper.

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While the rest of my freshman classmates and I smiled at each other that we had just discovered this new secret haven, I felt like I belonged.

Over the next year and a half, my classmates and I made this secret hideout our home.

Then we were all sent to our real homes.

For the past two years, I’ve helped run a newspaper during a pandemic. It’s something I never thought I would be able to do.

If the pandemic has taught me anything, it’s taught me resilience and adaptability.

My peers and I merged our News and Culture sections to create Campus & Community even before being in charge of publishing. From there, we knew that if we put all our minds together, we could do whatever we wanted with this journal.

I was fortunate to be surrounded by so many knowledgeable, caring and encouraging people. To my fellow graduate editors, I know I will cherish being by your side, as a colleague and friend, for the rest of my life.

I have invested so much time and energy in this journal that the void is going to be hard to fill.

Even though I’m recording my last podcast episode, writing my last article, and saying goodbye in this column, I can’t imagine my time at The Student is coming to an end.

I chose everything in my college experience on a whim. After being happily sucked into the current, I’m about to be spat out into adulthood.

I don’t know what to expect and thinking again about making career and life choices on a whim without a safety net is terrifying.

But my time at The Miami Student prepared me to expect the unexpected.

I will miss this time in my life and I know that one day the memories I have will coalesce into a super cup of highlights, but I have friendships and mentors whose impact will last forever.

I hope that the power of each TMS alumnus will remain felt in the newsroom for all future generations of this journal.

Good luck, good night and good luck.

@kwiatkdm

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