The Cavalier Daily was the first organization I joined on Grounds. Having been part of my high school’s newspaper, I felt like The Cavalier Daily was a logical choice for me as I looked to find a home in a new place. Like many first-year, first-semester staffers initially unsure of what section they might want to pursue, I joined the Copy section and began editing articles once a week from the CD office in Newcomb basement. Little did I know that I would be spending many, many more hours in that office in the years to come.
Looking back now as a fourth-year student, I realize that The Cavalier Daily had a formative impact on my undergraduate career. Some of the first upperclassmen friends I made at the University were from the newspaper. The very first college party I went to as a first year was hosted by The Cavalier Daily. My first time painting Beta Bridge was to advertise The Cavalier Daily’s information sessions. These experiences helped launch me into the University community and gave me the confidence to believe that I belonged in Charlottesville.
After a year-long stint as a Copy senior associate editor in 2018, I was elected to serve as assistant managing editor for the 130th term alongside my now-best friend Ashley Botkin. At this point, I thought that I wanted to become a journalist after graduation, and I fully expected my time as assistant managing editor to confirm what I already knew. But of course, that’s not exactly what happened.
Becoming assistant managing editor opened up the entire newspaper to me, and I was able to meet an entirely new set of friends across various sections. The work was tough sometimes, but once the final product was published, it was almost always worth it. However, as my term progressed, I was increasingly doubtful about whether journalism was the path for me and was curious about pursuing other opportunities around Charlottesville. So, when my term ended, I decided to take a step back from leadership in the newspaper.
This was not an easy decision — actually, it was a bit of a scary jump to make. I had invested so much time and effort into the paper since my first year, and I was not sure what exactly a post-CD life would look like at the University. But, using the resiliency I had developed thanks to my Cavalier Daily experience, I found new ways to get involved around Grounds and to pursue other passions.
Overall, my time at The Cavalier Daily took an unexpected turn, pointing me in a new direction for which I am now grateful to have followed.
The bottom line — I will always have a soft spot for The Cavalier Daily. I am so thankful for the lessons this newspaper has taught me and the memories it has given me. I know it faces some real challenges in the coming years, and I wish it the best future possible.
Lastly, a few thank-yous. Thank you to Ben Tobin for his early guidance and support. Thank you to Trent Lefkowitz for being an incredibly friendly and patient senior associate when I was first starting out in Copy. Thank you Alexis Gravely, who encouraged me to become more involved in the newspaper. Thank you to Gracie Kreth and Abby Clukey for being great bosses and friends. Thank you Kate Granruth for always making me laugh. Finally, thank you to Ashley Botkin, whose friendship is the most valuable thing I have gained from working at The Cavalier Daily.
Aaron Rose was an Assistant Managing Editor for the 130th term and Puzzle Master for the 131st term of The Cavalier Daily. Prior to this, he served as a Copy Senior Associate Editor.