I was involved in few things outside The Scout, but mostly I attended meetings and events. I met with group presidents, members of the administration, prominent members of the Peoria community and the general student body.
In all that time, I have done a lot of observing. Hidden in the background, probably looking somewhat sketchy furiously writing into a notebook, I always felt a little removed from other students. It felt like I wasn’t one of them; I was just writing about them.
The one place I did feel like I belonged was in The Scout office, which was painted a lovely shade of puke blue until last summer. It was, and still kind of is, this ugly little box of strange people and even stranger conversations.
There are pens in the ceiling. Food is scattered about in random drawers. There is a decrepit scarecrow named Bobbi Glen in the corner of the room that we crafted as a staff for a charity event put on by my roommate, Katie. (Katie–I swore to you, a long time ago, I would mention you here. Thanks for putting up with me for four years, and for being a cheerleader for me and the entire Scout staff from afar.)
That place, which I used to refer to as the “blue dungeon,” was where the vast majority of my college memories have taken place. The newspaper staff is an exceptionally eccentric bunch. Truthfully, it is pretty unlikely that any of us would be friends had it not been for that place. And over the years, they became some of my best friends. I have been so proud to work with such different personalities, each of them bringing something unique to the paper.
They are a smart, creative group, and despite bad weather, mid-terms and technological failures, we always managed to get a paper out on Friday morning. I have been truly grateful to have worked with them, and even more so to be their editor-in-chief. I talked about them on several occasions, like a proud parent.
Knowing that this is the last week I get to walk into that hectic office as a member of the newspaper makes me feel a little lost.
To the current staff, I can genuinely say I will miss seeing you for hours on end every week. I wish you all the very best.
To the upcoming staff, I plan to drop in every now and again, because I can’t help myself and will be in the area. Sorry about that. Just humor me. And don’t underestimate yourselves–you are going to do great things.
As a prospective freshman on a visit day, I picked up The Scout and hoped to one day write an article for it. I never expected to get to be such an integral part of it.
I didn’t mind watching from afar. I got to pen part of the history of an era on this campus.
And that, truly, has been my proudest accomplishment.
Heather is the Scout editor-in-chief. She is a senior journalism major from Schaumburg.
Direct comments, questions and other responses to email@example.com.