Editor-in-chief Paige Ladisic
After UNC lost to Villanova in the National Championship game, Marcus Paige said something about how eventually that night, he would have to take his jersey off and never put it back on again.
The Daily Tar Heel doesn’t have jerseys, but next Wednesday, I have to shut my computer down, and I never get to be the editor-in-chief again.
So I know how you feel, Marcus. I really do.
I am tired. I am proud of our accomplishments this year. And I know it is time to go on to bigger and hopefully better things — but as I sit here, writing a column that will run in my 134th paper, I know leaving the DTH will not be easy.
There is something incredible about the 200-odd people who work at the DTH, writing and editing and designing pages and shooting photos and producing the website and monitoring our social media and opining for 40-plus hours every week.
When you work here every single day, you get bogged down in the fact that you are working here every single day. You forget that producing a paper from scratch in nine hours with people you love and also want to kick in the face, while also juggling social lives, significant others and homework, is an incredible thing.
This is a job in which you can work 40-plus hours, giving this paper everything you have five days in a row, and then you walk away on Thursday night feeling like it gave you nothing back. And then other days, you walk away feeling like this paper gave you everything. I’ve had plenty of both.
In all of the chaos of working at a daily newspaper, you forget to be proud and you forget to be grateful for the time you have left, and then you only have seven papers left and you have to say your goodbyes.
Now, though, I am taking time to be proud and to be grateful. I am proud of the work we did this year — from our incredible Gender Issue that Sam Sabin led to our once-in-a-lifetime NCAA Tournament coverage that Pat James organized to how we got our shit together every time the Alert Carolina sirens sounded when we just wanted to go to sleep.
I am proud of the way our team gathers together when things are hard. I am proud of all the public records Bradley Saacks requested this year. I am proud of the digital team Kelsey Weekman built from nothing. I am proud of the number of times Jane Wester has texted a University spokesperson after 8 p.m. I am proud of the many staffers who woke up early or skipped class to hand out papers during the NCAA Tournament.
I am grateful to everyone on my team who got us to right now. I know you are tired, and you deserve the world.
So here’s to making deadline — and missing it. Here’s to all the shit. Here’s to late nights, early mornings and long days.
Here’s to criticizing the University and loving it at the same time. Here’s to asking the world to be better. Here’s to all of the editors who came before me, and here’s to all of the editors that will follow. Here’s to the youth and the fire and the passion of student journalism.
Here’s to The Daily Tar Heel.