If I had one word to describe me, I’d always choose “writer.” This letter is my 101st article for the Nexus, and I’m embarking on a career in journalism because nothing gives me joy quite like bringing awareness to a cause, shining light to injustice and changing the way people see the world.
But as I sit here on a Tuesday morning trying to jot this letter down, I have no words.
How do I conclude on a time that feels so unfinished? That’s not for lack of fulfillment. I found my home within the Daily Nexus through all the smart, funny and talented editors who dedicate themselves each and every week to bringing this paper to life.
I know I’ve accomplished things here I couldn’t have dreamt of four years ago. But as I get ready to walk across that graduation stage, I can’t help thinking of what I would do differently if I had the chance to do it all again.
There’s this saying among journalists: the article is never really finished, it’s just as finished as it can be before deadline. I’ve found this to be true for nearly every article I’ve written or film project I’ve worked on, and I’m sure many of you have felt the same on papers and assignments. You get your work as close to perfect as possible, but time is always ticking, demanding you to stop.
There’s no way I could finish my time in college with some perfect bow to wrap it all up — not at a school where there’s always new classes being taught and new opportunities to pursue. There’s just simply not enough hours in the day to do it all.
But what makes it all so special — both at UCSB and as Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Nexus — is that the time is finite. I have a deep appreciation for print nights knowing there’s only so many in the year, a deep appreciation for sunny skies knowing I only have so many sunsets left in Isla Vista.
But through it all, unfinished as it all may feel, I never stopped feeling the joy. I remember so vividly being a freshman and thinking how lucky I was to have chosen this paradise of a place to spend four years. Well, I’m happy to report that four years later, that honeymoon phase never ended.
Getting to serve as your Editor-in-Chief is the highest honor of my personal and professional life. It’s professional because we have a responsibility as your student newspaper to hold this university accountable to its students, and I hope that pursuit is evident in everything we produce. But above all, this is a personal honor because I truly believe that as Editor-in-Chief, I answer above all to you, the students of UCSB.
Not many students get to say they’ve carved out a legacy, but I know my legacy is in these pages. You won’t find my name, but you’ll see the names of so many others. It’s not just about the reporters who write articles and the photographers, artists and designers who put it all together. In these pages, you see the names of every person interviewed, every group written about. As the Nexus, we carry your stories. To lead the team that does that work is an honor, privilege and joy that I carry with me every day.
Melanie Ziment: you kept my scatterbrained mind afloat and made my big ideas reality. Hannah Appel: your creativity has shined in every page produced. Holly Rusch: I’ve seen you grow over three years more than anyone else at the Nexus, and I know you’re going to continue to shine. Emily Kocis: You make the Nexus such a fun place to work, and I can’t wait to see all the ideas you’ll execute next year as managing editor. And there are so many other editors that have made my time so special; Serving you all has been my greatest joy.
None of this year would have been possible without the many (many) Nexus alums in my corner, including Editor-in-Chief extraordinaires Jorge Mercado, Hannah Jackson and Harper Lambert; Simren Verma, Omar Hernandez, Max Abrams and the two best damn journalists I know, Evelyn Spence and Sanya Kamidi.
My time at UCSB is nothing without the friends who have stood by my side through thick and thin. To my Modesto compatriots John and Ari, to my San Nic besties Sam, Mia, Emily A.]] and Emily H. and, of course, to Amy: you have all changed me for the better. I hope I’ve done the same.
Finally, to the next Editor in Chief, Atmika Iyer. You’re an unstoppable force, and you’ve been that way since day one. You push me to be better every day, and I’m thrilled to see all you’ll achieve.
My time here is finite, but UCSB and the Daily Nexus are not. Buildings will come and go on this campus and editors will shuffle in and out of the doors of our Storke Tower basement. You can see the memories of these editors on our walls, the photos and beer bottles and sticky notes that are a piece of living history. I walk away from the greatest job I’ve ever had knowing I’m leaving a piece of myself behind.