Editor’s Note: “-30-” has traditionally been used throughout journalism to indicate the end of a story. Each semester, The University Star encourages its graduating seniors to write a Senior 30—a farewell piece to our readers—indicating the conclusion of a journalist’s time as an active member of our organization.

Oh boy, here we are; I've graduated college.

Three and a half years ago, I walked into the Trinity building, and I remember thinking about how much I stood out. Everyone was at their desk drinking Red Bull and writing stories, seemingly wrapped up in their busy lives. I never imagined it would be my office one day. 

Thankfully, I was wrong.

My official journey with The Star started early 2019. My best friend’s mom, an esteemed junior high school teacher and volleyball coach, sent me a screenshot of a tweet from The Star advertising the need for opinion columnists. I applied on a whim and, in a very cliche manner, my life changed.

I thought my time at The Star would help me develop my writing skills, and it did, but I got so much more along the way.

Being a part of The Star and having a little audience was the only thing that made me feel connected to campus. In my near two years at The Star, I learned how to interview, how to report and how to lead. I am positive I still have much to learn, but I am grateful for the progress and guidance I received.

When I became opinion editor this spring I was going through a hard time in my personal life. I felt really lost as a college student and a human being. That all changed because of The Star and all the editors who made me feel welcomed and necessary.

Admittedly, I viewed the opinion section with a very shallow perspective initially. It was about what mattered to me and what I felt I needed to say; however, everything changed this semester. The section became what it should have been about, which was enhancing student and community perspectives and addressing the issues most prevalent to our community. I can’t wait to see where it continues to go.

Elizabeth Partain, thank you for sending me that screenshot in early 2019. Carissa Castillo, former opinion editor, thank you for hiring me. Sonia Garcia, thank you for cornering me outside Hines building and encouraging me to apply for the editor position. Jakob Rodriguez, thank you for promoting me and answering all my questions, even when they were bad. Amira Van Leeuwen, thank you for being my other half along the way. Jaden Edison, thank you for believing in me and being my arch-nemesis at the same time.

To the current editorial board, you are all so cute and hardworking. We went through it this year. We stopped printing and went fully online. We took on The 11% Project. We were confined to the rectangular screens of Zoom. Through it all, we stuck together.

I'm so lucky to have worked alongside such passionate and creative people. Thank you for everything, especially for your patience. I know you will be amazing next semester, and I will miss you dearly.

Writing for the San Marcos community and Texas State student body gave me a higher purpose, and it connected me to campus life. I can't imagine my life trajectory without this turn.

It's been cute; try not to miss me too much. 

Journalism is an act of civic responsibility. We see our work as a public service that is necessary for a community to thrive because knowledge is empowering. If you enjoyed this story, please consider helping us "Defend the First Amendment" by donating today!

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