Art, entertainment and living

Draven Jackson

Arts & Living Editor

According to Mitch Albom, “Every ending is a beginning. We just don’t know it at the time.”

It’s a nice thought, in its own way – the idea that there are no real endings, just new beginnings to replace the parts of our life that are over. 

Even though I’m only 21, I’ve become well acquainted with endings by now – the ends of friendships, the ends of relationships, the ends of books (an English major’s reading never really ends, though) and, now, the end of my undergrad career.

Honestly, I’m still not sure how we got here. It feels like I just moved into my Pace dorm yesterday and I’m still trying not to cry as my parents give me their final hugs before heading back to Gadsden. But, I guess I’m not 18 anymore and it’s time to say goodbye again. 

Before I even started Troy, I started the Trop. A week before classes started my freshman year, I arrived in Wallace Hall with no journalism experience and no idea what I was doing. 3.5 years later, I have a couple years of working on the newspaper under my belt and still no idea what I’m doing. But I’m much more confident not knowing now. 

It’s been a wild ride on the Trop and I could probably write a novel about everything I’ve seen and done while being a writer and editor. For one thing, I got my first hate letter – that was a good time. Apparently, I am the kind of person who “starts wars and cause millions to be killed” and can I just say, that’s a lot more credit than anyone else has ever given me. 

I’ve gone to so many events I wouldn’t have experienced otherwise and gotten to know people I would never have met and I am so grateful to my scared freshman self for being willing to step out of my comfort zone and try something new. I also met my best friend, which was honestly the best part of the last 3 years and enough to be grateful for by itself. 

At the end of the day, I couldn’t have done any of this without the unrelenting support of the Trop staff. I’ve watched as it changed and shifted in writers and editors and still I have felt nothing but love from everyone who enters this office. 

And now it’s time to say goodbye and it never seems to get any easier. In the end, I just want to say that I am so thankful for the opportunity I was given when I decided on a whim to join the school newspaper. The staff and professors believed in me in a way I didn’t, and that has made all the difference in this experience. 

Thank you to all the editors who’ve guided me as I struggled to learn to write journalistically and find my voice (which has since been described as sounding like I’m telling my reader to “sit down, shut up and learn a thing.” Oh well – I tried). Thank you to all the writers who worked with a struggling editor like myself as I tried to figure out what exactly I was doing. 

Thank you to my anonymous hate mail sender. You gave Ms. Anderson a good laugh. 

Thank you to the Trop staff of 2019 and Professor Taylor. Of course I’d start feeling at home right when I have to leave. 

And much like many of my articles and essays over the span of my college career, I choose to end my last piece on the Trop with someone else’s words. 

As written by L. Frank Baum, “Everything has to come to an end, sometime.”

Ms. Anderson out!

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