It is crazy to think that my three short years here are coming to an end, but as I reflect on every opportunity that has been presented to me at this university, I could not be more grateful. Coming in as a freshman, I wanted to be a forensic psychologist, but that changed shortly after the start of my first semester. Thanks to Dr. Amanda Tucker’s Introduction to Literature course and a conversation with Writing Center Coordinator Kathryn Weller, I changed my major to English with an emphasis in professional writing. This was one of the best decisions for me because it allowed me to pursue my passion while making some great connections and memories along the way.
Though there are some things I would have liked to change about my degree in professional writing, one thing I will never change are the professors I have worked with. The professors in the English Department are beyond supportive of your creative dreams and desires to explore literature and writing. I have learned and grown considerably both personally and professionally by merely talking and interacting with our amazing English faculty, and I will be forever appreciative of their wisdom. Thank you to all of my professors in and out of the English Department. You have all had an immense impact on my time here at UW-Platteville.
I also could not leave without saying thank you to the Exponent. This newspaper has assisted me in developing a keen eye for grammar and AP Style (which I often fight with), allowed me to expand my writing abilities and given me life-long friendships.
When I started with the Exponent my freshman year, I quit after writing one story because the thought of news writing scared me. I did not think I was capable of writing stories to the quality that the other writers were producing, so I left. This was only short-term, though, thank goodness.
I returned my second semester as a general reporter and gained invaluable experience in writing both news and feature stories.
I was a general reporter for a year before I was elected to the position of chief copy editor, something I owe most of my grammar development to. I remember sitting at production nights pouring over the AP Style Guide and trying to understand as much as I could about this crazy style. Dare I say I even started to even enjoy it. But, in all seriousness, that position truly helped me to grow as a writer and an editor.
This past year, I have been serving as the editor-in-chief, and boy has it been a ride. I finished last year thinking I was done with news writing and that I was not going to continue working for the Exponent, but after numerous discussions with co-workers and friends, I realised I could not give up on a project that I spent so long working with. Without this paper, I would not be the writer I am today, and the support from faculty, staff and fellow students has been overwhelmingly encouraging.
As editor-in-chief, I feel like I have been able to shape the paper into something that represents myself as well as the Exponent staff. The stories we publish each week strive to bring the campus and Platteville community together, but I also like to make sure we are pushing the boundaries and evoking thought and conversation. I am honored to have served as the editor-in-chief, and I cannot wait to see where this paper goes from here. Good luck to all of the returning staff members of the Exponent.
Though I am graduating on Saturday, I won’t be saying goodbye to the Platteville community. As cheesy and cliché as it is, I am only saying see you later. Platteville has served as my home-away-from-home, and I cannot just drop it and run away. My friendships will stay with me as I head into the professional world, and I will, of course, continue to stay informed about the campus and community through reading the Exponent.
See you later, Platteville.