Senior Farewell: Devin Whatley

by Devin Whatley, Arts & Culture Editor

When I entered my first journalism course at San Diego State three years ago, I remember feeling a sense of loneliness while I sat in a huge lecture hall. I doubted whether this would even be a career worth pursuing. 

On that day, I remember hearing two people from The Daily Aztec speak in front of my class. It intrigued me to the point where I sent an email to Bella Ross asking if I could join.

Looking back, if I didn’t make that step, I don’t know where I would be in my college career. 

Three years later, I’m capping off my senior year after working on endless stories and content for almost every section in the newspaper. The Daily Aztec has allowed me to grow in ways that I could never imagine, and for that I’m grateful. 

There’s a common saying that it’s hard to leave a place you love. One thing I’ll miss most from my time with The Daily Aztec is having the opportunity to connect with my fellow writers. The amount of friendships and professional relationships I’ve forged from spending time here is something I’ll treasure forever. I’ll also miss the memories we made in the newsroom – so many that I don’t have enough fingers to count them all.

People inside the newsroom like to call me the “Renaissance Man” – a nickname I took on because there was one point where I contributed to almost every section of the newspaper. It honestly still feels like a blur to me, and I could remember those late nights working on stories and editing content. What a time!

I sometimes say that SDSU has been a full-circle journey for my family. I mean that both figuratively and literally. My parents and aunts went here and attended classes. Now, I’m completing another part of that circle by graduating this May. It’s truly hard to grasp. However, I am thankful and blessed to be finished with my undergrad.

If I could share any advice from my time in college, I’d say the most important point is to take advantage of opportunities when you see them. I stumbled upon The Daily Aztec just based on my own interest, and it provided me with valuable connections, networking opportunities and time to work and grow my journalistic skills. Now, I feel like I’m at a place where whatever the professional world throws at me, I’ll be ready for it. 

I also would like to say that The Daily Aztec is what you make of it. Join the staff and take advantage of your opportunities to write stories and create content. You never know what doors it can open for you in the future. 

I would not be where I am today without The Daily Aztec. It has become a part of who I am as a writer and journalist. I want to thank all of the people I’ve interviewed for allowing me to help tell great stories. I also want to thank everyone in the sports section over the past two years – writing recaps, columns and making videos with each of you has been a blast.

I also cannot forget every single one of my writers in the Arts & Culture section. Seeing you all grow and evolve in your writing and storytelling makes me proud to be your editor. Without you, we would not have had so many phenomenal stories made throughout this year.

Lastly, I wanted to say a special thank you to my family. They have been by my side since the beginning, and amid all of the times spent working on stories, editing pages and creating content, I have always had constant support. 

I do not know what lies ahead for me, but what I do know is that when I look back at my time in The Daily Aztec, I’ll wear it with pride. I’m proud to be an Aztec, a journalist and a part of the most rag-tag bunch of writers out there. 

I can’t wait to see what the world has in store for our futures.