By Naomi Farahan and Sydney Tomlinson
I have to start off by saying that this has been nearly impossible to write. Words usually come easily to me – I rarely identify with the word “speechless.” But this was different. This meant saying goodbye to something that has undoubtedly shaped the past three years of my life.
I wanted University to have an online publication for several reasons. I was – and still am – excited about storytelling. This seemed like the perfect platform for University students to tell each other’s stories. I figured that we could write articles about one another. We could display artwork, reflect on the news, and shoot videos. But I also wanted to start this project because I needed a genuine way to connect with the community.
And that happened. It was, more often than not, really hard. But we succeeded at creating relationships. Because of this website, we are more connected and more aware of one another. Drake Jellison taught us about jellyfish and Alex Carson gave us play-by-plays of boys basketball games. Isaac Mervis did more than teach us about sports – he touched us. He got to the core of what makes University so special. Daniel Healey asked questions that simultaneously informed and entertained us. Tara Brugh made sure every article was clean and easy to read. She was always there to help.
The list goes on and on. It is because of this project that so many of us have developed our personal voices. We listened to Noah Matthews’ favorite songs, and we were awestruck by Amelia Eskenazi’s photography. We laughed hysterically at Nia Townsend’s videos. And because of all these things, we are better. We are a more genuine community because of all those who participated.
I am so thankful to everyone who worked to start and to improve The U Post. Ashley Crockett-Lohr, thank you for advising us and for making the website a success. To all our past staff members, thank you for sharing those stories with us. It was an honor to get to see the community from your perspectives. And, of course, thank you to all the readers. Thank you for caring about University in this way.
The best part of all of this is that The U Post will succeed long after we all graduate. For this, I am forever grateful. I am so excited to see how the future editors and staff members continue to build the website.
On that note, I would like to give a huge shout out to Sydney Tomlinson, your new Editor-in-Chief! She is one of the kindest, most creative, smartest people I know. I cannot say enough nice things about her – she is simply perfect for the job. She already has some amazing things in mind for the site.
And now, this is where I leave you. Thanks to everyone who played a part in making this such a meaningful experience for University. And thank you for making these past few years so very special.
Like Naomi, I was not sure what to write here, but for very different reasons. As she is saying goodbye to something that she has created and shaped for the past four years, and that has shaped all of us, I am saying hello. And I have never been great at introductions.
If you don’t know me, hi, it’s nice to meet you. I guess I should start by saying that I joined and began writing for The U Post last school year, and it has been a huge part of my life ever since. This week marks the end of my sophomore year, so as I step into this new role with The U Post, I am also stepping into the second half of my time at UHS.
When Naomi told me that she wanted me to take over for her after she left, I was scared. I was incredibly honored, of course, but it was – and still is – hugely intimidating to take leadership of and responsibility for this space that she has built, and that has meant so much to so many people. But I have spent this entire year learning and practicing, and I feel confident that I will be able to take on her role and continue to grow the site. It will not all come easily, but with your help, The U Post can continue to flourish and thrive, and we will all continue to grow with it.
Thankfully, I will not be taking this on alone. In some ways we will be rebuilding a team from the ground up, but there are already a few terrific people on board to lead the way. Patrick Naremore, one of the best writers and thinkers I know, will be an Editor and a great leader. Emily Gardner, also an amazing writer and artist, will be our Arts Editor, and Livi Nichols, who – naturally – is a fantastic writer as well, will be our Sports Editor.
I couldn’t write this without including many thank-you’s, though I know they will not be enough. First and foremost, thank you to Naomi, without whom none of this would exist. We are all better and closer because of this amazing space you have created. Thank you for believing in us and in our stories, and for believing in me enough to entrust me with this role. To Ashley Crockett-Lohr, thank you for all of your help and support, none of us could do this without you. To Daniel, Isaac, and Tara, thank you for letting me step into this role this year even though I’m younger than you, and thank you for making The U Post as fun and successful as it is. I am truly grateful to each of you for giving me so much guidance and encouragement this year.
And of course, thank you to everyone who reads and writes and participates, as none of this is possible without all of you. Because of you, The U Post is a place where our community comes together to recognize and support each other. A place where we can all share our stories and the stories of others, showcase our art, our victories, and our passions. I am passionate about journalism and this community and sharing your stories, and I look forward to doing just that during these next two years.
I hope that you are as excited about this new journey as we are, and I hope that you will join us. Whether you’re a writer, photographer, painter, poet, athlete, editor, or anything else, we want to help you share your talents, interests, and experiences with University, because that’s what this site is all about. Thank you all for continuing this alongside me. I wish you the best of luck on your finals and I hope you have a wonderful summer, and with that, I’ll see you in August.