The most wonderful, unexpected experience

It’s hard to say bye, so I’ll just say thank you

When I walked into The California Aggie to interview for a position as opinion editor, I was feeling pretty confident. That all went away once I walked into Kaelyn’s office for the interview. Heart pounding, I thought I couldn’t get through one question without the tremor in my voice becoming obvious. At the end, I felt utterly dejected, convinced that this opportunity was now long gone. 

When I walked into The California Aggie to interview for a position as opinion editor, I was feeling pretty confident. That all went away once I walked into Kaelyn’s office for the interview. Heart pounding, I thought I couldn’t get through one question without the tremor in my voice becoming obvious. At the end, I felt utterly dejected, convinced that this opportunity was now long gone. 

A couple days later, I got a voicemail from Kaelyn at around 8 a.m. offering me the job.  After screaming in celebration with my best friend for about half an hour, I called Kaelyn back and let her know that I would gladly accept. But even in that moment of utter excitement and anticipation, I couldn’t begin to fathom just how much The Aggie would end up meaning to me by the time I’d have to say goodbye to it. It may be because the pandemic has forced this goodbye to happen over Zoom, but this just doesn’t feel right or real. 

Early Monday mornings, seeing Ariana, Sabrina and Izzy already hard at work printing and reviewing the pages. Tabling with Hannan, but really just talking because we table at the slowest hour. Editing with my writers every Friday, seeing them grow and the excitement on their faces when they’re happy with the final product. Being stuffed in Kaelyn’s tight office four days a week to discuss, edit, debate, interview and laugh. Receiving weird emails at all times of the day and night. 

It’s difficult to sum up these experiences and how each moment has shaped me for the better. It’s odd, painful even, to say goodbye, let alone to move on. It was so much a part of my everyday life. In writing this, I’m hoping to feel some sense of closure. But honestly, I just feel sad. 

That said, I’m incredibly proud of what I’ve accomplished at The Aggie: from helping writers develop and grow to helping whistleblowers tell their story, from using my voice to fight for what I believe in to helping others use their voice to do the same. I’m proud of the people I’ve worked with and all the moments — monumental and seemingly trivial — that I’ve had the great honor and happiness of experiencing. I can’t explain what The Aggie means to me in a way that I will feel content with. So, I won’t try. I’ll just say thank you.

To my former editor, Taryn, thank you for giving me the opportunity and leadership I needed to be where I am today. And thank you for believing in me. 

To my fellow editors, thank you all for inspiring me and showing me by example how to be my best. To Hannah and Kaelyn, thank you for all of your support. You both have helped me become a better and more confident editor and writer. To our copy chiefs, Sabrina and Izzy, I’m so glad to have met you both, and thank you for always making me smile. Hannan, Zoe and Sydney, thank you for always taking care of those guest opinions, letters and ads. Sydnee, thank you for always putting up with me and those late graphic requests every first week of the quarter, but mostly thank you for being such an incredible designer and for leading your team flawlessly. Ariana, thank you for putting up with all of us and our late articles. You always manage to pull it off without fail. Justin, thank you for always coming through with those last minute photo requests. And Josh, thank you for getting our paper out there at the most ungodly hour every single week.

It’s hard to say goodbye to an experience that was so incredible and meaningful to me, but I’m just grateful that it happened. 

Written by: Hanadi Jordan  

Hanadi was the 2019–20 opinion editor. She joined The California Aggie in spring of 2018 and wrote as an opinion columnist before joining the Editorial Board. She is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a minor in history.

This column is a part of our 2020 Senior Issue. The rest of the issue can be found here.