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The Daily Tar Heel

Farewell Column: I'm going to sleep

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Ira Wilder Assistant University Desk Editor

I’m the first to leave every party I go to. My bed and I have a passionate affair that I refuse to cut short in the name of social graces. I always know when to say my goodbyes. And while I’m not a senior, it’s time I say goodbye to The Daily Tar Heel. 

I joined the DTH because it seemed like the only thing to do. I was a first-year student, the pandemic raged on and it was the only potentially remote extracurricular I could think of. Inspired by the mentorship offered to me by photo editors Morgan Pirozzi and Yates McConnell, I became an assistant photo editor during my second semester with the newspaper.

As a photo editor, I floated around the newsroom, writing pieces for every desk except sports, of course. And this year, I became an assistant University desk editor, a position I held under the guidance of University editor Liv Reilly — who is the only reason I remain somewhat sane. 

I spew my resumé to you, reader, just to give you an idea of what the DTH has meant to me. It has been a platform of expression, an avenue of opportunity, a frame of my college experience. 

Serving in this newsroom has put me courtside at a men’s basketball national championship, inside the Supreme Court and in front of the barricade at a Phoebe Bridgers concert. It has given me an excuse to carry my camera around campus. It has allowed me a first glance at the news every day. It has taught me how to spell Guskiewicz.

But beyond all the glamor and the highlights and the lessons, it has given me a Chapel Hill family. 

In my worst hours, the newsroom has been open: former Editor-in-Chief Praveena Somasundaram once welcomed me in at 1 a.m. for an emergency therapy session; general manager Courtney Mitchell was a huge supporter throughout my comically long search for an internship; former opinion editor Rajee Ganesan cut my hair in the office. 

And in my best hours, the newsroom has been open: assistant University desk editor Abby Pender and I shared too many illicit-but-hysterical stories to count, design editor Carson Elm-Picard convinced me to join a band, opinion editor Caitlyn Yaede broadened my provocative vocabulary. 

I’ve slept on the floor in the office. I’ve ridden a bike in the office. I’ve made a charcuterie board in the office. I’ve done everything but physically die in the office, though I almost mentally did so many times. 

And so, I say goodbye. Next year, someone else will have to play Ethel Cain aloud in the office, walk around barefoot and scream about their marginal grievances. I’ll be too busy in yoga classes and reading books and baking cheesecakes, living the student life I’ve dreamed of for the past two years. 

With my employment self-terminated, I am most happy that I can finally respond to uninformed comments on the DTH’s social media, usually from adults who have absolutely no idea how long and hard our underpaid staff works. I am proud to become the digital defender of the publication that has taught me so much. 

So, farewell DTH. Next year, I’ll see you first in the blue boxes instead of on Slack. 

@dthopinion

opinion@dailytarheel.com

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