When I walked into The State News' office in September 2019, I was just a freshman. I'd been at MSU for an entire two days.
I was greeted by then-Editor-in-Chief Madison O'Connor and then-Managing Editor Mila Murray. I was hired as a staff reporter, jumping between city, campus and multimedia desks before landing on my feet as a campus general assignments reporter.
And then I blinked.
And now I'm writing to you as the Editor-in-Chief for the 2022-23 academic year.
I left MSU in 2020 as a freshman due to COVID-19. I was a pessimist with mental health issues and my future post-college seemed like a black hole that I was constantly running from.
Now, I'm going into my final year; I have a plan for my life once I cross that stage. I have hope that things will get better because if I can survive a global pandemic, what can't I do, right?
And yes, despite that, I am still thinking, “What the hell was my college experience?”
These four years haven't been easy on anyone, and The State News is no different. We're all still picking ourselves up after the pandemic, emotionally and, for some, financially.
And as sick as some of us may be of talking about COVID-19, the truth is, for many of my peers and myself, it's the headline of our college experience.
The State News has been the one consistent thing in my life throughout these four years; I want to give that same sense of consistency and familiarity to you.
I couldn't be more excited to lead a newsroom that has shaped me into the student, journalist and person that I am today. I've been in this role for three months and the metaphorical rollercoaster that is editor-in-chief already has me waiting in line for another ride.
But with that excitement comes apprehension. I want The State News to do well for you all.
The State News is your newspaper. That has always been the goal—to provide students and the larger MSU community with important news for students, by students.
We will continue our unbiased, thorough, relevant coverage of all things MSU and East Lansing—administration, student organizations, upcoming elections, pop culture events, football, basketball, swim and dive, Roe v. Wade ... and anything else that comes up along the way.
We've made it this far together.
We were here when the country closed its doors and we were resigned to our homes. We were here when COVID-19 cases hit the thousands, then the hundred-thousands, then a million.
We mourned when COVID-19 variants postponed our return to college life. We celebrated when vaccines were created. We were confused as COVID-19 policies were changed again and again and again.
We cried for Brendan Santo and Phat Nguyen. We cheered for MSU football and men's and women's basketball. We sighed in relief when finals week ended, shutting the door on a year that was almost as weird as the one before it.
We watched as Roe v. Wade was overturned. We witnessed the protests. We saw the joy and the fear.
We had to adjust. You had to adjust. We all continue to adjust together.
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So no matter what this next year holds, I can promise you one thing: The State News will be here.
Thank you for allowing me to lead your newspaper. I hope we make you proud.
Some of you have walked these four years together and some of you are just joining our journey this year. Either way, we'll continue to walk them together. I can promise you that.
This story is part of our 2022 mail-home print issue. Read the entire issue here.
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