But these shortcomings aren't what stick with me now, as I'm trying to write my last piece for this special publication.
Instead, similar to me summing up my entire college experience, what comes immediately to mind are answers too perfect and too easy for them to be fully true. And I could tell you about all of them.
I could tell you that the people made my time at the DTH special. I could cite the times my former co-assistant editor James Tatter and I went to He’s Not Here after our philosophy class every Tuesday evening this semester, and how in that time we’d talk about everything and nothing over blue cups.
I could tell you about the times when former sports editor Chapel Fowler, Tatter and I connected over feeling in over our heads about having to lead a sports desk during a time when the future of the DTH was in question. I could recount the memories I have of me, Fowler, Chris Hilburn-Trenkle, Jack Frederick and other DTH editors sitting around the office, talking to each other in what seemed like our own language — as if only those who understood the work we put in each week could decode how we were actually feeling.
I could also tell you that the real-time impact we, as a newsroom, made at the DTH made my time here worthwhile. I could cite the times we held the University accountable for its inaction; or how we represented all sports teams and organizations; or how we reported on Silent Sam’s presence on campus enough that it simply could not slip away from the mainstream consciousness.
I could even talk about how this newspaper, and the group of journalists that produced it every week, fostered my love for learning; or how it reaffirmed my belief in the value of writing; or how it was fundamental in knocking down my unjustifiable confidence when I first started writing, and then later critical in helping me build myself back up the right way.
I could talk about all of this. And really, there’s probably a complete answer in there somewhere. Maybe my experience as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts, word to Aristotle. I’m still not sure.
But here are a few things that I’m sure about: The DTH has helped build my love for learning. It’s given me the chance to grow close to smart, special people. It’s taught me how to conquer any feeling of inadequacy. It’s let me be me.
And most importantly — as is evident in this long-winded, imperfect farewell — the DTH has given me the chance for closure; it’s allowed me to punctuate these past four years that I wish I could live all over again.
It’s given me the chance to end my story — at the DTH and at UNC — the way I wanted it to end.
And I can’t thank it enough for that.
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