I was a late bloomer to journalism. I dipped my toes into the ink sophomore year, when I didn’t know a source from a dec (now a cringe-worthy admission). After a month of writing ledes for class, I felt like I was drowning in journalism, and the only form of lifesaver would be a change in major.
After I finally developed a grip on the craft, I shyly stopped by a few Oracle meetings, contributed here and there and eventually sent a meek Facebook message to the former Editor-in-Chief at the end of my third-year, inquiring about open copy editor positions for the Fall semester.
I used to be intimidated by the Oracle crowd. They were cool to me. They knew what they were doing. And as much as I envied them and their confidence, inside jokes and impressive AP style skill, I wanted to be one of them even more.
Sending that Facebook message was one of the best decisions I made in the last four years.
In these claustrophobic orange walls, I found myself as a journalist. I learned more about professionalism, ethics and the practice of writing and reporting than I ever did in class from these psychos I surrounded myself with. Here’s to the weirdos, thank you for teaching me.
Cat, Cathy, Mom; thank you for always instilling confidence in me, insisting on aggressively complimenting my butt to the point where I feel uncomfortable and echoing whatever horrifying sound I make. Your passion and dedication really do inspire me and I know you will do fantastic things once you graduate. Now serenade me in German.
Andrew: All things cheeseburger-related really do make me think of you. You were a killer Managing Editor and I am so proud of how far you’ve come in just the short time I’ve known you. I will always appreciate our mutual distaste for the abomination that is “chip bag air.”
Abbott: No one scares me yet entertains me like you, my little cabbage. You are hilarious, sharp and honest. Can’t wait to see you reporting on ESPN someday, when my 11-year-old son will tell me he has a crush on the “hot sports anchor” and I will respond by giving him a speech about respecting women and sexism in journalism.
Anthony: Anfranee, your puns are untouchable. Thanks for always believing in me, and for making sure your psychotic breaks were always entertaining for those of us reading along. You remain one of the funniest writers I know to this day, and I’m glad we can indulge in the same awkward, twisted sense of humor.
John: John Tappen, one of the nicest guys out there. Your patience and calm demeanor in the newsroom never cease to impress me. They also make it that much funnier when your sassy side makes an appearance. You’ve been a fantastic News Editor, keep doing you.
Suzy: How would I get through this year without our in-sync harmonization to Demi Lovato and Broadway’s biggest contemporary hits? I will always respect and admire your review writing skills, and can’t wait to see you do it in the big leagues some day.
Maddie: Ugh, my angel. Remember that time we bartered drinks for copy editing duties? I still owe you one. I’m so glad we know each other’s gross secrets and became as disgustingly close as we are. You are one of the most spontaneous people I know, love you.
Jen: Newsworthy Newman, you are the peas to my carrots. My assistant copy editor in crime, you are exceptional and balance all of the priorities in your life so admirably.
Zam: Zam Daddy, you are the cutest. You are usually the only one who laughs at my jokes, which I am eternally grateful for. You are going to rock as A&E editor next year.
Melissa and Kristen: You are both such talented additions to the staff, and you take our crazy very well. I feel so confident leaving The Oracle in your small, adorable, capable hands.
Rosie, Max, and Robin: You all inspire me weekly with your fantastic video footage and beautiful photos, and I love the different presence each of you bring to the office.
Alfonso: Damn it, Roberto, I miss you and your journalistic virtues and KILLER writing chops. But mostly reminiscing about Belgium together. You will do great things.
Katie: The most brilliant and sadistic of them all, we missed you every production night this semester. You are such a unique, ridiculous and grounded person, and I am so thankful you poached me about contributing to The Oracle back during Journalism II.
My one Oracle-related regret is that I didn’t try to join earlier. But, as the cliched phrase goes, better late than never.