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A goodbye from our seniors

Photo Illustration: Kayla Stroud/THE SPECTATOR

Passing the reins with a heavy yet hopeful heart

This is probably the hardest thing that I have ever had to write.

Saying goodbye is never easy. So, with a heavy heart, here goes nothing.

This is the last issue that I will be serving as the Editor-in-Chief. As this issue runs through the printing press, I will have said goodbye to this newspaper that I poured every ounce of my being into.

When I transferred to VSU and found The Spectator, I had one goal in mind: to become the Editor-in-Chief. Started from the bottom (get it?) to the top position, I never thought the day would come that I would be writing my goodbye letter to this newspaper.

This newspaper that I have loved since I started out as a writer. This newspaper that I have sacrificed my Wednesday nights for. This newspaper that has given me a coffee addiction.

With that being said, I couldn’t have made it this far without the wonderful editorial staff behind me. I not only had the pleasure of leading this staff, I got to know each of them.  Their likes, dislikes, and everything in between. This staff has taught me that the sorority president can be a diehard feminist, the quiet one can have an immense poetic voice that could move mountains, and that talent comes in different shapes, sizes and shades.

To each member of the editorial staff, both past and present, I thank you giving up your Wednesday nights with me. Thank you for showing me what it means to be a leader. Thanks for the laughs, endless Starbucks runs, and even the frustrations of working until 2 a.m.

To Tatyana, the wonderful Managing Editor, thank you for being both my left and right hand woman. Thank you for dealing with my out there antics and becoming one of my closest friends.

To Dr. Miller, I want to thank you for seeing talent in me that I didn’t even know I had. Thank you for always having the answer that I needed, even if I had to figure it out the hard way. You have helped make my confidence to hone my journalistic craft that “half inch taller.” You are truly a one of a kind professor.

To Ted, I want to thank you for your positivity. Thank you for your guidance and showing me why I love this crazy thing called journalism. You are the light of our newsroom.

To Gabe and Mayah, good luck next semester. This will be your show now. I know the two of you will surpass every expectation I have of you two. I can’t wait to see what the two of you do next semester and I will wait each Wednesday with anticipation.

The Spectator has been the reason that has kept me going at VSU. I hope to take what this newspaper has taught me into the world. What a journey this has been.

-Jordan Barlea

Lessons learned at VSU

From the moment I set foot on this campus four years ago I have constantly been learning lessons. I have learned expensive educational lessons, social lessons that were learned while having a good time, and hard lessons that were not fun to learn, but extremely necessary. As I prepare to leave Valdosta, I am finding that every lesson I have learned in the past four years is irreplaceable and so very valuable. Being the hard-headed person I am, I wish I could say I learned all of these lessons on my own, but that is far from the truth. Without my sisters, colleagues, parents and teachers I would not have been able to learn, recover from, and teach these same lessons to other people. I give credit to my Chi Omega sister for teaching me the importance of sisterhood and leadership. Without my colleagues at The Spectator I never would have learned that the best teams are filled with diverse individuals who love and respect one another. If it had not been for my parents I would not have learned the value of hard work and dedication. Most importantly, without Dr. Miller telling my classmates and I nearly every day that, “journalists change the world,” I would not be where I am today. I would not have gained the confidence to go from this beautiful campus ready to change the world by being the best journalist I can be. So thank you to everyone who has stuck with me through my time here at Valdosta State and thank you for everyone who has believed in me, challenged me, and loved me. Good luck to every graduate leaving this campus in a few days and, go Blazers!

-Kenzie Kesselring
Opinions Editor




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