Staff goodbye column: The opportunity of a lifetime

By Abbie Reetz

When I started writing for the Royal Purple my freshman year at UW-Whitewater, I was the type of writer editor’s grumble about constantly–I didn’t come to writer’s meetings, I often interviewed my sources via email and I may have once used my roommate as a student source for a story.
In the three and a half years since then, I’ve come a long way.
I knew I wanted to get involved with the newspaper before I even started classes here, and I ended up being one of the few freshmen to be published in the first issue that came out in 2010. My enthusiasm had been so great that I’d contacted editors during the summer so I could get started as soon as possible.
That same enthusiasm afforded me the opportunity to become opinion editor last fall, then lifestyle editor late in the spring, and finally managing editor for my final semester.
I’ve been avoiding thinking about this letter since the semester began, because I don’t want to say goodbye to a group that has become so much like family to me.
It’s hard not to get close with people when you spend so many late nights together working on something you all love. You bond over your shared passion and the many, many weird things that get said after 1 a.m. You get to know each other well enough that it takes only a few minutes to re-cast popular movies and shows with your fellow staff members as characters. You develop inside jokes that are still funny long after you’ve forgotten what they mean or where they came from.
If I were a stronger person, I would break down what I’m thankful for about each of my fellow staff members, but I’m barely holding myself together as it is. So instead, I’ll go with this:
Andie, Janelle, Ben, Sam, Chris, Lucas, Josh, Kevin, Andrea, Mike, Alyssa, Dan, Rumasa, Jake, Amanda and our fearless adviser Carol, thank you all so much. Thanks for putting up with me when I’m so tired I don’t know what’s going on or too sick to really comprehend anything. Thanks for the amazing memories of all the fun and crazy things that have happened in the office. Thanks for being great, supportive friends. And, most importantly, thanks for always being ready with a witty comeback or “That’s what she said,” for basically anything anyone could possibly say.
I seriously don’t know what I’m going to do with my life after graduation (although I suspect it will involve a lot of reading books and watching TV and lounging around in the luxury of all my new-found free time), but I can rest assured that the paper will be in good hands come spring semester.
I’m going to miss you all so much, and I’m so excited to see what the future brings for everyone. Thank you for everything, and don’t forget to keep in touch.

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