A photo of the then-Lantern staff members Spring Quarter 2012. Credit: Lantern file photo

A photo of the then-Lantern staff members Spring Quarter 2012.
Credit: Lantern file photo

I’m a nostalgic person. I’m a fervent collector of ticket stubs, old notes and photographs. I like reminiscing because I’m fortunate enough to have so many fond memories to look back on, and I like to marvel at change and the way people grow.

I’m not graduating this semester, and I’m not even at the age for it. I’ve attended Ohio State for three years, but I’m already nostalgic about all the changes that have come and gone in my life, and I don’t think it’s ever too early to reflect on them.

Ohio State, with its people and its opportunities, has impacted my life in too many ways to count. When I made a last-minute decision May 1, 2011, to become a Buckeye (yes, that was the very last day to pay my acceptance fee), I had no idea that I was on the brink of something so wonderful.

When I stumbled through my first semester as an exploration major, I didn’t know I’d trip right into my passion for journalism. Yet now I can’t imagine doing anything else.

Ohio State has taught me to be fearless. When I applied for a job as a Lantern editor more than two years ago, I was two things: under qualified and confident. I had no reason to be confident, except that Ohio State seemed like the kind of place where the impossible could happen.

And it did.

Since that day in March 2012 when I became the only freshman on The Lantern staff, I have not stopped growing.

I’ve watched friends join the staff and leave, whether it be to a new job, a graduation ceremony or a move across the country. I’ve pushed myself to learn and understand people who are different than me, in order to write fair stories about them.

I have seen time and change through the semester switch and the passions of my friends. From one job title to the next, and two more after that.

I’ve made sacrifices to spend 40-50 hour weeks in The Lantern newsroom, and I’ve learned the balance between sacrifice and reward.

Do I sometimes wish I could join my friends for happy hour, or attend more concerts on weeknights, or spend more time dedicated to my schoolwork? Of course. But working at The Lantern has taught me the sense of pride that comes with hard work, and I wouldn’t trade my bylines or my resume for anything.

Journalism has taught me more about myself and the world than any teacher, any textbook, any human being. I’ve become someone who asks questions and knows where to find the answers. While some say journalists are all cynics, I’ve actually grown to appreciate the world more through my time writing about it.

I’ve interviewed professors, students and administrators, protesters, Boston Marathon survivors, police officers and musicians. I’ve talked to Urban Meyer, John Glenn, Ryan Gosling, Tina Fey and the president of Somalia. I’ve covered concerts, Board meetings, presidential visits, tragic accidents.

Perhaps some day this will all get old. But I could not be more grateful for everything this incredible university and this award-winning paper have done for me. And as I prepare for my final days as an editor, I wouldn’t change anything about the past 758 days sitting behind a desk in Journalism 271.

I don’t think it’s ever too early to be nostalgic. Lantern staffs, past and present, thank you. Ohio State, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. May we have another life-changing year in our future together.