'Short, but sweet for certain'

I WAS scared out of my mind the first time I stepped into the basement of Newcomb Hall my first week at U.Va. I had never written a news article, and I didn't know a single person in the newsroom. Had someone told me then that one day I'd be an editor for the paper, I would have laughed. Hard.

Fast forward almost four years. The basement of Newcomb Hall is now a place I rarely want to leave. It's where I've found a tireless commitment among my peers that I believe no other student organization on Grounds matches. It's where I've found amazing friends who never cease to amaze me. It's where I've found a home.

I had no idea that first week, or even my entire first year, that The Cavalier Daily would one day become such an important part of my life -- and not just the newspaper itself, but the amazing people who work so hard to produce it every day. It has been nothing but an honor to work with such an exceptionally talented and dedicated group of individuals.

This is a difficult column to write because I'm not really sure how to sum up the four most incredible, memorable, exciting and scary years of my life into a few short paragraphs. I try to deny almost every day that graduation is just a few months away. There are no words for how much I'm going to miss this place. These days, I cry almost every time I think about the prospect of leaving. But when I walk down the Lawn in May, I leave knowing that it has been one incredible ride.

So on that note, thank you:

To the people who have been there from square one, Mom and Dad: When I decided my senior year in high school that I wanted to be the next Katie Couric, you told me to write for the Cav Daily. Although I no longer seek that coveted seat next to Matt Lauer, that was some of the best advice you ever gave me. You will never know how much your generosity, encouragement, love and guidance have meant to me over the past 22 years. You've given me the freedom to make my own decisions, and you've been there to help me pick up the pieces when I've made mistakes. I know I don't thank you nearly enough for all that you've done for me, but I owe you both the world. I love you!

To Matt: I'm so proud to be passing the Cav Daily torch on to you. More importantly, though, I'm so proud to call you my little brother. I know you contemplated breaking the family mold and going somewhere other than U.Va., but I'm really happy you're here. Thanks for all the memories, thanks for always being there and thanks for reminding me to laugh at myself. I love you!

To Alexis, my fellow AME: It's scary how much we have in common -- our Pennsylvania roots, our majors/minors, our little brothers, our taste in superfriends

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