There are a lot of things running through my mind right now. Honestly, too many. But there is one truth I cannot deny.
I am sad.
I am sad to be writing this letter. I am sad that I have to say goodbye to my friends. I am sad that the life I have cultivated in the past four years will be gone in just a few days. But honestly, what I am most sad about is having to leave this place, the Nexus.
I get it. To some, a college newspaper should not be much to get worked up about. To me, the Nexus is a wonderful place that has taught me so much about myself and given me some of the very best friends I could ever hope to have.
I love remembering the days I would spend in the sports office with my old Co-Sports Editor Sean White, who is now doing big things with the Los Angeles Clippers. I love remembering spending time with Maura Fox in her office as I nervously asked what the hell I got myself into by running for editor in chief. I love remembering the countless meetings I had this year with so many different people because that is what it means to be an editor in chief.
I love remembering how every single person here touched my heart because damn near every person has. That is how special this place is.
Honestly, I am sad. But I am really happy about it, if that makes any sense. Being sad means I never got tired of this place. But like any great athlete, I would rather retire at my peak than hobble out of here as an eighth year (shoutout Nate Z.).
Four years ago, I joined this paper only wanting to write sports and that was it. I never wanted to care about other sections. I honestly was not really looking for friends and I thought being editor in chief looked like an awful job.
Well, things change, and I am forever thankful for the memories this place left me with. I am thankful that for one year I was able to run this paper and though I did not get to do everything I wanted, I did enough to leave satisfied.
I am especially thankful to everyone who was here with me this past year. Tamari Dzotsenidze, Omar Hernandez, Evelyn Spence, Ariana Marmolejo, Zoë Jones, Sanya Kamidi, Aly Witmer, Kylie George, Sarah Garrett, Laurel Rinehart, Tiffany Velazquez, Brandon Victor, Will Emmons and literally so many more that I am sorry I do not have space to continue, thank you for everything. Know that you will always have a friend in me — shoutout Toy Story 4 — and that I am so excited to see what life brings to each and every one of you.
There are two important people I left out of that list: Hannah Jackson, the new editor in chief, and Simren Verma, the new managing editor. I left them out because these two deserve to be especially recognized for the work they have done for this paper and what they will do as the people in charge of this paper next year.
I think I accomplished a lot in my past year here, but I don’t think it will be anything compared to those two. Yes, that is a lot of pressure, but I would not say it if I did not have the utmost confidence in them.
Hannah is the strongest person I know. She will make the tough decisions to push this paper forward and make sure that everyone is being represented. Simren will provide such a presence to the office — not just for news but for every section, in a way that I believe will bring out the best in people.
I am excited to see these wonderful women take charge.
Finally, before I go, I just have some final words of wisdom to say to those of you who are still around. There will be a temptation to always impress others. I implore you to always be a genuine person above all else.
Essentially, I am telling you the age-old wisdom of to simply be yourself. When I first came to college I was scared that no one would accept me. And yet, even beyond the Nexus, I have best friends that will be with me for life.
Samuel Kamyzsew, Christian Badillo, Mark Gonzalez, Jeremy Bernstein, Cristian Guijosa, Jennifer Pulido and Ariana De Los Reyes are people that were there for me since day one. They accepted me and I am telling you that you will find happiness here if you open yourself up to it.
Also, don’t be scared to fail. Failure is good. I have done a million things wrong, but without that, how would I have known what was right?
As long as you do anything with clear eyes and full hearts, there is no way you can ever lose.
Jorge Mercado is the current Editor in Chief and was a Sports Editor before that since freshman year. He prefers to be called Merk as that was his nickname given to him by the gods. Sometimes, his evil twin Mork appears. Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.