The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday May 5th

Farewell column: So long, old friend

<p>Catherine Morgan, assistant copy editor. Photo courtesy of Catherine Morgan.</p>
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Catherine Morgan, assistant copy editor. Photo courtesy of Catherine Morgan.

This is the first piece I’ve ever written for The Daily Tar Heel. I’m not a beat reporter. I’m not part of the DTH’s day-to-day operations. But, in my three years here, I’ve helped edit hundreds of stories — from the toppling of Silent Sam to Roy Williams’ retirement and everything in between. 

I have been fortunate enough to be part of the structural function of the DTH for several years now, and what a privilege it has been to serve you, the Carolina community. 

But, let me go back a bit. Though I’m originally from Eastern North Carolina, I spent my first year of college in D.C. I quickly learned I needed a better environment, more conducive to my personal and professional goals. (I also learned college basketball was more important to me than I thought, so it was only fitting I go to the mecca of college athletics.) 

As a transfer student, I was thrown into this ocean of scholars, leaders, entrepreneurs, athletes and the best our country has to offer. UNC is overwhelming. It’s intimidating. It’s challenging. It will make you question yourself, your beliefs and sometimes your worth. 

It took me a long time to accept and believe that I was a Tar Heel — that I am a Tar Heel. I come from a long line of UNC alumni, so the whole “born and bred” thing really stuck with me. I questioned my acceptance to UNC. Impostor syndrome haunted most of my thoughts. 

“Everywhere I look there are students smarter than I am, more involved in the Carolina community,” I thought. 

“So how is it that I got accepted here? Why did they pick me? Did I take someone else’s spot who was more deserving?”

I joined and left several clubs, and I even tried out for the women’s rowing team (I’m 5 feet, 3 inches on a good day, so needless to say, I did not make the team). My brother was in ROTC, my sister was in a sorority and my mom was in an honors chemistry fraternity. I struggled for a long time to find my place.

I applied to the DTH on a whim. I had just applied to the journalism school and was terrified I wouldn’t get accepted. Why should I have expected to be hired by the DTH? 

“You’ve never written anything noteworthy, never mind newsworthy,” I thought.

But, by some twist of fate, I got the “congratulations” email that I had been selected to be a staffer on the copy desk. Eventually, I worked my way through the ranks to become an assistant copy editor. I joined the 1893 Brand Studio, the marketing arm of the DTH. And that’s where I’ve been this year.

I’ve had the privilege to be part of something larger than myself, even something larger than the University. The DTH has been a constant in a time of inconsistencies. It has held me responsible and it has kept me sane, in all honesty.

I always get this fuzzy feeling when I see our blue boxes around campus. I think about the legacies that came before me and those that are sure to follow. And I am honored to have been just a small thread of the DTH’s pedigree. I don’t know what comes next, but I am comforted in knowing that I have a team to support me.

To the editors, management and staffers, thank you for including me in your story. 

@CathHMorgan

opinion@dailytarheel.com

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