I have texted and called my high school journalism teacher, Jason Livingston, at least once per semester to ask him how he’s doing, what’s happening around town and if he can connect me to sources for journalism assignments.
He has helped me write college stories on top of the countless stories I wrote in high school; he practically raised me and he’s kept me connected to a place I love (home).
You might be wondering, what does this have to do with The Daily Tar Heel.
When I connect with people, especially in the journalism world, I find those connections unbreakable. There’s some special sauce that we all share that makes us crazy enough to enjoy working insane hours and Slacking during class – and I think that sauce is delicious.
The DTH has added such wonderful flavor to my life, but I’m staying in the mountains next semester to work on a field site in Highlands, N.C. Then, I’m coming back to Chapel Hill with graduation on my mind. I won’t have time to do a journalism job justice, and I would never want to do work for the DTH halfway.
And, so, I take my leave. I may be leaving the DTH, but I will never straight-up ditch this place. I actually can’t — I’m too ingrained in it.
As Elizabeth Egan – my boss, my auntie and one of my closest friends – likes to say, the DTH is filled with "Elise-isms." We say “Happy night!” as we depart from the "peninsula" every night after long shifts of lore with a side of tasks. All of my -isms were certainly inspired by the people around me, but they’re mine, and I’m proud of them.
I like to think that one of my "-isms" was progress on the desk, too. I always think about how I could’ve done more, but I made our Instagram posts consistent and filmed some banger TikToks. (Yeah, to all of you who commented “WHO DID THIS” on The Hunger Games TikTok… that was me. I did that!)
Some days, my progress consisted of surviving, but I am proud to have made a little mark on the DTH's social media.
When I return from Highlands in 2024, I can’t wait to visit the office, feel its fresh energy, check in on the occupants of the peninsula and see what new -isms arise. If any of mine last, I will have done my job well.
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