Farewell: Editor-in-Chief reflects on time at Hilltop Views

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Courtesy of Gianni Zorrilla

I’ve been thinking about the words I would say in this farewell for three and a half years, and now, on the eve of my final Hilltop Views production night, I’m struggling to find them. As I sit in my Austin apartment writing (after midnight, as per usual), I think of all the reporting, editing and mentoring I’ve done. I think of every comma I’ve added, every em-dash I’ve reluctantly deleted and every paragraph I’ve completely scrapped because “it could be better.” I think of how incredibly meticulous I’ve been as an editor, but tonight, I’m just gonna let my words flow, so here we go. 

When I walked into my first budget meeting as a freshman, I sat in the back and didn’t speak. I was intimidated and inspired all at once as editors presented their pitches. Inspiration eventually outweighed the former the second I saw my name in print for the first time. From then on, there was no stopping as I went from a staff writer, to life and arts editor, to editor-in-chief. I can confidently say that leading the newsroom as EIC has been the honor of my college career. 

To my parents, thank you for believing in me. Thank you for instilling such drive in me and teaching me the value of hard work. I love you endlessly and hope to make you proud in all that I do. 

To Jena Heath and Curt Yowell, thank you for being such motivating mentors. Thank you for every comment, critique and word of advice you’ve provided me in my journalism endeavors. You have inspired me more than you know. To Austin Woman Magazine, the Austin Chronicle and Texas Monthly, thank you for allowing me into your newsrooms to gain invaluable experience in the field. 

To Matthew San Martin, we were an unstoppable EIC duo and it was an honor to work with you in expanding HV’s digital reach, deliriously finalizing pages every Monday night, and, most of all, fostering the strongest camaraderie among editors I have ever seen during my time at St. Ed’s. When all else fails, “f— it, we ball.” 

To Christine, Myrka, Sammy Jo, Kelly, Nina, Gracie and Kailyn, my ladies for LIFE, I’m so blessed to know you. Christine, I have no doubt that you will take HV to new heights with your talent and graceful leadership. To Adrian, George, Ben, Nic, Juan, Jacob and John, I couldn’t have asked for more driven and respectful guys to work with. 

To Vivian and Sierra, my buffoons-in-crime and absolute best friends, I love you both. Here’s to every late night adventure, tear drop wiped away and annoying shriek of laughter. 

To everyone I’ve had the pleasure of knowing throughout my college experience, — my close friends, my lovely professors (especially Jody Seaborn, Beth Eakman and Billy Earnest), familiar faces I’d see on my walks to class — to those who challenged me, uplifted me, questioned me and even broke my heart: thank you. Who I am today is a beautifully intricate patchwork of all the experiences you’ve helped to foster. 

College has granted me more treasured experiences than my shy 18-year-old self could have ever imagined. If I could go back in time and tell her one thing, I’d say “Just wait. Life is just beginning.” Now, three years later, the familiar feeling of an approaching new beginning looms.

This transition into adulthood — whatever that means — won’t be easy, but I know St. Edward’s and Hilltop Views have prepared me for every peak and trough. An Alan Watts quote that has gotten me through college will continue to guide me: “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it and join the dance.” I’m pretty bad at dancing, but it’s gotten me this far, so here we go.