Senior Sendoff: See you later, squatch

An eager young squatchling. Photo courtesy of Elisabeth Morando


I was sitting at a hibachi restaurant watching the clock as the service, though entertaining, was taking forever. I would usually be more enamored with the flames erupting from an onion volcano, but I had places to be. As soon as my order of chicken teriyaki slapped itself onto my plate, I immediately slid it into a to-go box, left enough cash on the table for my friend to pay, got up from the dinner that was just getting started and left. I was not going to be late to my very first Collegian meeting. 

I rushed back to campus just to find that there was not a single parking spot in sight — typical. I was fed up circling the streets, so I made my own spot — which I later got a ticket for — grabbed the styrofoam box and trekked from West 44th Street, through B Lot and up the stairs to Fairbanks 210.

I felt out of place. It seemed like everyone knew each other from previous years or was a brand-new first year. But there I was, a sophomore who smelled like fried rice, a washed-up former ballet dancer huffing and puffing under her mask unsure of where to stand among the sea of hopeful reporters. 

I didn’t know what AP style was, much less the rules of an Oxford comma or what the heck passive voice meant. I hadn’t been in a real English classroom since grade 7 due to homeschooling and online school that allowed me more time to pursue what I thought would be my life — ballet.

I didn’t really care about journalism, nor did I know much about it. I didn’t grow up watching the news. I sparingly Googled “current events” if I heard my friends talking about something. At the time, Buzzfeed was my most common platform for news consumption solely for their Harry Potter house quiz. 

All that is to say, I stumbled into journalism and the Collegian because I just didn’t know what else to do. My plans of dancing professionally crumbled during my first year in Butler’s coveted dance program, and with that, so did the 15 trying years I spent contorting my body to achieve a twisted definition of perfection. No matter how much I tried to hide it at the time, I was scared, depressed and drowning under the grief and guilt of not being able to make it work. 

I took a leap of faith and chose my new journalism major solely based on my mom’s recommendation. She told me it was something my grandma always wanted to get into, but never had the chance to do so as a young girl in South Korea. For someone who’s wildly independent — and usually too stubborn to take her mom’s advice — that speaks to how truly lost I was. 

It was the first time I truly felt hopeless. I didn’t have a passion. I didn’t know what I was doing, where I was going or who I was. 

I introduced myself to the news section and my editor, Alison, as a journalism major — one of the first times I labeled myself as something other than a dancer.  

I left the meeting with an assignment, my now-room-temperature dinner and no clearer idea of what I had gotten myself into. The school year started two days later, and so did my journey with the Collegian. 

I was unsteady, uncertain, lacking any sort of confidence in myself, but I — obviously — stuck with it. My sophomore and junior years of college were full of change, but the Collegian was a constant. If nothing else, I knew I could count on the fact that a source wouldn’t get back to me, I’d get stood up on a Zoom interview and I would get paid only $7.50 for an article worth at least six hours of my time. 

But in all seriousness, the Collegian has become a home for me. My college years are partially defined by squatch sightings, British accents, tarot card readings, leftover hotdog buns and late-night Starbucks runs because of the school newspaper. Who would have thought? 

Before any other opportunity in journalism, the Collegian sparked my love for this work, and for that, I am forever grateful. 

Mom, Dad, Vincent, Indy and Miso: I don’t think “thank you” will ever be enough. I feel your love and support even hundreds of miles away at college, and I know if nothing else, you’ll always be cheering me on. I am so lucky to be loved by you. 

Sydney: From Spanish class, sweaty frat basements, COVID-19 vaccines and all the TikTok dances, Sushi Bar dates and Usher hip isolations in between — thank you. I would not have survived college without you. You’re the best friend I never knew I needed but now can’t imagine life without.

Veronica, Bella, Gracie, Maggie, Lily, Emma, Lauren, Elizabeth, Isa, Libby, Kylie, Nina and Rosie: I found your friendship when I needed it the most. I don’t think I will ever be able to express how grateful I am for your constant support, nor will I ever be able to understand how lucky I am to call you all my friends. You make life so beautiful, exciting and undoubtedly entertaining. 

Dr. Karaliova: You are the backbone of the Collegian. I am in constant awe of your passion and knowledge about this field, and I have been so lucky to learn from you. I can’t wait for the day when Victoria is editor-in-chief. 

Professor Bridge: You took my TikToks and turned them into packages, VoSOTS and VOs. Thank you for helping me realize the potential I didn’t even know I had, and for giving me the tools to pursue something I find so exciting.

Theta: My home sweet home. It is impossible for me to express what the house on the corner of Hampton Drive has done for me, but in short, it’s given me the space and the role models to grow into the person I am today. Thank you for the opportunity to lead, the chance to be on aux and the freedom to be the most “me” version of myself I have ever been. TLAM to the girls I adore most.  

Alison, Aidan, Leah and Mae-Mae: I feel cool just being associated with all of you on the leadership team. To say I’m inspired by you would be a gross understatement of how much I admire and respect the work you do. Each one of you could be the smartest person in any given room, but together, wow, you’re a force to be reckoned with. 

Sarah: What a special little sports rockstar you are. I can’t wait for the day when you own the Browns and I can say I used to edit your stories when we were still just silly sorority girls back in college. 

Annie, Owen, Emma, Haley, Lauren, Kobe, Matthew, Caleb, Ryann, Bee, Allie, Megan, Abigail, Reece, Maddie, Abby, Isabella, Grace, Jada and Eva: Your friendship on the Collegian made me fall in love with this paper even more. I am so grateful that I get to surround myself with such talented people. 

Butler Ballet: My COVID-19-infested first year was brutally hard for a number of reasons, but the friends I made in 8 a.m. music history and between turn groups in Professor Pratt’s jazz class are the reason I stayed at this random school in Indiana. Our path together was shorter than I anticipated, but my time in Lily Hall gave me forever friends and a piano hobby, so thank you. 

I guess this is it, Collegian nation. I’m sitting crisscross applesauce on my very favorite couch in Lacy writing my very last Collegian article. I’d say that I’ve loved every second, but that would be a lie. This paper challenged me in multiple ways — wracking my brain for the world’s greatest headline, struggling to schedule interviews at the last minute and at times, just staying awake on publishing nights took every ounce of my existence. It’s been exhausting, overwhelming and annoying, but truly incredible. 

Thank you for three crazy years of storytelling, self-discovery and way too many wheeze laughs to count. Stay awesome, rockstars. 


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