When I think back to my last four years at URI, bad memories dominate the good ones. I’m reminded of circling the Fine Arts Center lot for a parking spot, walking uphill from Plains lot when I inevitably gave up on looking, waiting at shuttle stops as the buses drive right past me, writing dozens of meaningless discussion posts during COVID, avoiding roaches in the dorms, Zoom classes from my bed and dead birds outside the engineering building.
I didn’t completely hate my time at URI though, and that’s because of the Cigar, but don’t get me wrong, it also started out rough.
I first joined to build my resume and writing portfolio, and for the first year and a half, that’s all this newspaper was to me — a job. I’d sit awkwardly in the corner, trying not to stutter when I would take stories and leave as soon as the meetings ended. URI had never felt very welcoming to me, and the newspaper felt the same way, but I liked being in the know about University drama, so I stayed. From contributing reporter, to staff reporter, to web editor and my final position, news editor, I worked my way up and discovered that making connections is what reporting is all about.
I’ve loved talking to different sources and hearing what they’re passionate about when writing stories about them, but I’ve especially gained a soft spot for the connections I’ve made with the people in the Cigar.
First, thanks to everyone I’ve ever worked with on e-board for always making me laugh and continuously putting out a fantastic paper.
Aidan, discovering our shared northern Rhode Island connections has been so fun and I can’t wait to see what other lore is uncovered in the future.
Jenny, I’ll miss our conversations about bread and your shopping hauls.
Thanks, Nils for not strangling me every time I ask you to change an en dash to an em dash.
Nathan, thank you for going all out on cowgirl (gender-neutral) production night, I’ll never forget your western outfit.
Alexa, one of my favorite memories of the past four years was bonding during your radio show (at 8 p.m. on Mondays, go listen to “Hey Alexa… play my favorite album”).
Ronan, I’ve loved complaining about our political science class this semester and
Juliana, your work-life balance of being a professional girlboss while also being able to gossip about your love life has been so refreshing to work with and I hope to have many bosses like you in the future.
To David for always making me laugh and never getting too offended when I make fun of you. I’ll never be able to hear about K-pop without thinking about you.
Maddie, thanks for always being down to fangirl over Taylor Swift and Shaquille O’Neal.
Liz! The other half of the dream team, my mentor and my literal twin. It’s been such a pleasure to learn from all of your editorial experience and to find out that we have everything (and I mean everything) in common. I’m so sad to leave you but so happy to see what you do next.
To all the reporters who’ve taken stories, you’re the backbone of the paper and reading and editing your stories has been the best job I’ve ever had.
I’m not a huge fan of sappy, inspirational quotes, but for the last four years, I’ve been repeating this one from Tracy McMillan in my head: “Everything works out in the end. If it hasn’t worked out yet, then it’s not the end.”
My final pitch as news editor is: join the Cigar! Although it took me two years, it’s a great way to make friends, to improve your writing skills and to spice up a resume. I can’t imagine trying to apply for jobs without all of the experience and a vault of articles I’ve written, so I encourage anyone with even the smallest interest in journalism to come write, take pictures or do the newscast.
A lot of things haven’t worked out for me, but in the end, these last four years did. I can happily say that college worked out in the end and as this chapter comes to a close, I’m super excited (and nervous) to start the next one (and to finally be able to use the oxford comma again).