Goodbye opinion: “This isn’t giving up. No, this is letting go”


Adam Wilson, Editor-In-Chief

At the time of this publishing, I will have finished my second full year being a part of The Observer. I’ve dedicated half of my college career to writing, designing and publishing over 50 editions of the best thing to ever happen to me.

Having said that, a year ago I couldn’t have been bothered to do this again. Together with Patience, my co-worker at the time, we almost decided to abandon the paper altogether and change our majors, because we were so burnt out.

We ended up staying for another quarter begrudgingly, and after a message from God (which was actually just my assistant writing a sticky note claiming it was from God) I found myself here, directing a staff that I wouldn’t trade for the world.

I’ve become a whole new person since I started writing for Scene in Spring 2013. In high school I wasn’t a social person; sure, I didn’t shut out any chance to communicate with my peers, but I sure as hell didn’t go out of my way to do it.

But I still wanted to be a journalist, and to this day I couldn’t tell you why. I didn’t LIKE talking to people of my own accord, and I still don’t. But reporting and interviewing came so natural to me that I almost felt compelled to do it.

That’s why I kept doing it, and even though it was a tall order I strove for the highest positions on staff. After a single quarter of reporting I became Assistant Scene Editor. A year after that I became Editor-in-Chief.

It was a long, hard journey, but I don’t regret a thing about the path I’ve taken. It’s a path I don’t want to leave, but it’s one that I have to.

I’m working toward two degrees, and I’m about done with the journalism major. The ITAM major doesn’t mesh well with the 30+ hours per week I invest into The Observer.

Hell, even the university had to tell me via e-mail that I’ve repeated COM478 (Observer Editing) too many times. I don’t have the budget to be able to justify continuing in this job any longer. I have to move on with my college career. I have to move on with my life.

I leave behind a helluva legacy. The state of our newsroom my junior year was a cesspool of negativity and overwork. I nearly doubled our production’s efficiency and greatly improved the mood in the newsroom as well.

We relaunched our website. We broke stories that, even to this day are still being discussed. We took best in show at the Associated College Press Conference for the first time ever.

It hasn’t all been good, but it’s all part of the learning process. As a student journalist I have a long way to go, and every week I feel like I’ve grown more and more as an editor and leader.

I’ll always remember the first interview I had as a staff member, when my interviewee had to give me a pen because the ink in mine dried out right at the beginning of the interview.

Six months later and I’m leading a half-dozen reporters down the same path I travelled. Another year later and I’m saying farewell to my staff of 40 in one goodbye opinion that I suppose isn’t so much for them as it is for me.

These last few years have been an emotional roller coaster, but I came out of it with some of the best people I’ve had the pleasure to meet and work with. Even though I’m leaving with a lot left undone, I can only look back and feel accomplished.

As I say goodbye to everything I’ve built up these last couple years, through all the pangs of stress and pain I’ve experienced in these last few months, I end with the chorus from one of my favorite Rise Against songs:

“Go on alone, ‘cause I won’t follow / This isn’t giving up, no this is letting go / Out with the old dreams I’ve borrowed / The path I carve from here on out will be my own.”