CHAMPION STAFF GOODBYES 2016-2017 (2)

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I remember walking back from class last April when an email alert popped up on my phone from Mrs. Huff, offering me the position of assistant news editor at the Liberty Champion. Honestly, I’m not exactly sure what I was thinking or expecting when I randomly filled out a staff application a month before, but I could not be more thankful I did.

Yes, there have been plenty of early mornings and long workdays. I distinctly remember the first Monday of the semester when I thought my computer hated me. Will and I had no idea what we were doing, and we both eMnded up staying until 8 p.m. to finish our pages. While I’m happy to say it got much easier, there were still many weeks where articles would be changed last minute, or we would have to redesign an entire page at the end of the day.

But I also remember seeing our very first edition of the newspaper right after it was printed, and the excitement I got when I saw someone pick up a copy around campus. I remember the day we all got to leave early because of the Internet outage and the fact that there was always something to laugh about in the office.

There were plenty of up and downs throughout the semester, but looking back, I wouldn’t trade my time at the Liberty Champion for anything else. I think I’m going to miss my desk over in the A-section, but I’ll always be grateful for the experience, memories and friendships it has allowed me to have.

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Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 9.06.07 AMI remember walking back from class last April when an email alert popped up on my phone from Mrs. Huff, offering me the position of assistant news editor at the Liberty Champion. Honestly, I’m not exactly sure what I was thinking or expecting when I randomly filled out a staff application a month before, but I could not be more thankful I did.

Yes, there have been plenty of early mornings and long workdays. I distinctly remember the first Monday of the semester when I thought my computer hated me. Will and I had no idea what we were doing, and we both ended up staying until 8 p.m. to finish our pages. While I’m happy to say it got much easier, there were still many weeks where articles would be changed last minute, or we would have to redesign an entire page at the end of the day.

But I also remember seeing our very first edition of the newspaper right after it was printed, and the excitement I got when I saw someone pick up a copy around campus. I remember the day we all got to leave early because of the Internet outage and the fact that there was always something to laugh about in the office.

There were plenty of up and downs throughout the semester, but looking back, I wouldn’t trade my time at the Liberty Champion for anything else. I think I’m going to miss my desk over in the A-section, but I’ll always be grateful for the experience, memories and friendships it has allowed me to have.

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Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 9.06.51 AMThese last four years at Liberty have taught me a lot — how long you can park illegally before getting towed, how to budget meal swipes and how to swindle jugs of milk from the Mini-Rot, namely. When I came to Liberty at 18, I would have never guessed my time here would allow me to grow into my best self.

I was blessed not only with an amazing group of friends who loved me like a sister, but also with professors who allowed me to question everything. My hair has gone through a metamorphosis in my time here — red, blue, orange, purple, green, pink and now, shaved — and as my hair has evolved, so have I.

My year on the Champion staff has been one of the best experiences of my life, and I am so thankful I was able to serve as feature editor. As I leave this school, I know I do not have all the answers. Life will throw lemons at me, and that’s okay — I have a plane ticket to London, a fiancé who loves me and a God who will provide for me.

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I hate goodbyes. I hate getting to know people and then having to say goodbye. My life is going to feel empty without the Champion. My three years of being involved with the Champion have not by any means been a complete walk in the park, but I am so grateful for my time here and what I’ve learned.

When I first walked into the JOUR 390 practicum as a timid sophomore, I had no idea what I was getting into. I knew I just wanted to write about sports. And that’s what I did. That first year as a sports reporter was one of the coolest experiences. I got to see my work published in a real newspaper, and, to be honest, I geeked out. My parents and grandparents may have been the only ones to read those articles, but I didn’t care.

Stepping up as the news editor the next year was a challenge. As someone who doesn’t pride herself on loving politics, I knew it would be an interesting year. Becoming part of a staff family was a fun experience, and I’ll always have those memories of watching The Office while waiting for the final production to come together.

As editor-in-chief the following year, I got to see a whole new side of journalism and leading a newsroom. I was stretched as a leader and learned how much of team effort is required to produce a newspaper. Once again, I laughed until I almost cried, and I won’t forget those memories.

I am so grateful to the Champion for giving me a chance to do what I love while teaching me how to get better at my craft. Thank you, Mrs. Huff, for not only being a great advisor, but for pushing me as an editor and writer. Thank you for believing in me and helping me get the newspaper out on time. Thank you to the amazing staff members I have worked with over the years. The laughs we’ve shared made the early mornings and late nights worthwhile.

And with that, that’s the last thing Sarah says in her Champion career.

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