When we arrived at Michigan State University as 17 and 18-year-olds, the next four years were nothing more than a blank sheet of paper.
MSU was unknown territory; we had countless opportunities to pursue while working toward bachelor’s degrees.
Somehow, we chose The State News and never looked back.
If you’ve dedicated four years to any club, organization, fraternity or sorority, you understand the love and appreciation you hold for the group of people that’s been with you through it all. The people that have grown up with you. You understand giving your all to something, only to feel bittersweet when you have to leave it behind.
The State News became a home and the people in it, family.
Who cares if we never scored a touchdown in a Michigan Daily touch football game in our four years? We still remember our Cherry Lane Park Field practices in the dark, and we remember former sports editor Sam Sklar’s iconic tackle.
We loved decorating Snews floats leading up to Homecoming weekend while eating pizza at Spartan Stadium and practicing our non-professional painting skills. We loved playing darts at Peanut Barrel after closing our print issue.
We dreaded doing concessions during the 2021 football season but loved seeing our coworkers dressed up and dealing with rude customers.
We anticipated our semesterly training, Twitter announcements, intern potlucks and State News parties. Getting verified, then unverified on Twitter? Full circle moment.
The newsroom we walked into is vastly different from the one we’re leaving behind. The editor-in-chief who hired us is four years removed from this newspaper. Our former advisor Omar’s critiques are a thing of the past, only kept alive by the archives of our soon-to-be deactivated State News’ emails.
We helped create our culture desk, an essential part of our current coverage. We helped recognize our biases within our newsroom and coverage through our diversity, equity and inclusion reports. We watched our photo and video desks merge to multimedia, our social media desk expand and print frequency drop from weekly to biweekly after COVID-19.
Many of the news threads are the same: the fallout from Nassar, Title IX violations, the resignation of university presidents, the lack of transparency from our administration. But through it all, we’ve remained hopeful that our reporting will encourage change.
We’ve missed out on many typical college student activities. Instead of cheering on our Spartan football and basketball teams in the student section, we covered it from the press box. Instead of marching in protests demanding change at the local and state level, we stayed on the sidelines getting the perfect shot. Instead of waking up the following day to the results after election night, we stayed up all night creating live updates.
When our campus was faced with the unthinkable on Feb. 13, we had to stay to cover the aftermath.
We’ve covered it all for the last four years: From racist rodeo clowns to 4 a.m. ASMSU elections; from Spartan Lanes closing to Trump and Biden rallies; from Kenneth Walker III’s star season to a highly contested coffee review to record bar lines after the first COVID-19 cases and everything in between.
Regardless of all the long nights, the endless print days and the times we wished the news would stop, we wouldn’t trade our time here for anything.
We can’t wait to walk across the stage next week, proudly wearing our State News stoles. We can’t wait to see the finale of our college careers as student journalists.
We can’t wait to think about Snews and smile at the memories we’ve formed.
So thank you, State Newsers old and current for being an amazing part of our young adult lives. It’s crazy to think that now we’re the veteran reporters we looked up to four years ago.
Thank you, Madison O’Connor and Mila Murray for taking a chance on freshmen with nothing but passion on their resumes.
Thank you Omar Sofradzjia, Daena Faustino, Kim Margolis, Wesley Herold and Chris Richert for guiding us through the best and worst times covering Michigan State University.
Thank you, State News, for giving us our best friends, our professional mentors and a jumpstart to the rest of our lives.
When we first walked into the newsroom, we were told one thing: You get out what you put in.
We got a lot out of The State News.
SaMya Overall, 2019 Staff Reporter
Devin Anderson-Torrez, 2019 Staff Reporter
Maddie Monroe, 2019 Staff Reporter
Griffin Wiles, 2019 Copy Editor
Wendy Guzman, 2019 Campus GA
Dina Kaur, 2020 Staff Reporter
Sam Sklar, 2020 Staff Reporter