Graduating editors say goodbye and thank you

by Staff

By Tara Millspaugh

I didn’t think I would ever have the chance to be called an “editor.” I’m not the strongest writer and I still make grammar, spelling and punctuation mistakes, but my writers have trusted and respected me.

This job isn’t easy. I wanted to pull my hair out and give up within the first few months, but something kept me going. Watching and helping my writers grow into journalists is one thing I’ll never forget. The news section is always a good place to start out for newbies. Sometimes their articles start out terribly, but there is always potential.

The news section is its own demon. My section needed to have enough content for the first two pages of every newspaper this year. That meant we needed at least four to five articles per day—20 articles a week. That’s a lot of articles! But our team managed it. There were a few times when stories wouldn’t come in on time and I didn’t have the energy to write the article. However, if I hadn’t done it, there would’ve been a blank space on the front-page. Knowing the newspaper and a team of 40 was depending on me made me always work hard.

Anyone can write, but it takes a certain kind of person to be a journalist. For those writers who stuck through my weekly meetings, millions of emails and constructive criticism, thank  you from the bottom of my heart. I’ve learned more from you than you’ve learned from me.

I have to thank Assistant News Editor Ana Ceballos for being my wingwoman throughout all the craziness. I could depend on her for writing deadline stories, handling meetings or just for the occasional rant when I was about to explode. She wasn’t an assistant; she was an equal, and above all, a friend.

I never made many friends throughout college, mostly acquaintances. But, coming into the newsroom and working with the team to troubleshoot all of the possible problems, there is absolutely no way that you won’t leave as either friends or enemies. Luckily, I can call all the editors my great friends and I know they will each make an impact in the journalism world one day.

This newspaper has single-handedly developed me as a journalist. It wasn’t classes or textbooks, it was being in the environment and learning among the other editors. With that, farewell and thank you. Hopefully you’ll see me on TV one day.


By Stacey Oparnica

It’s kind of funny, actually.

I look back on the past four years and I can’t seem to remember how eight semesters managed to sneak by me so quickly. At the same time, I feel like 10 years worth of experiences managed to squeeze themselves in, too—by far the best being my three years at The Daily Aztec. I’ve had some great times here. I distinctly remember sharing what felt like a cubicle with my roommate, Ashley, in the Olmeca Residence Hall during our freshman year, and sleeping with the lights on after watching the midnight premiere of “Paranormal Activity.” That same year, my diet consisted primarily of microwaveable burritos, hot fries and enough sunflower seeds to dent my front tooth. At least I managed to avoid the renown ramen college diet.

Of course, I’ve made some mistakes. I slept through one final, lost a few friends and, at one point, racked up more than $15 in late library book fees.

But I made dean’s list on several occasions, passed the grammar, spelling, punctuation test on my first try, learned a hell of a lot about everything from astronomy to social media, and was inspired by some of the university’s most open-minded and creative peers, lecturers and professors.

I also developed an obsession with memes. I made incredible, seriously hilarious friends. I fell in love.

The truth is, I am encompassed by a swell of emotions. On one hand, I am so ready to study for my last final ever. I’m excited to throw my cap in the air and am extremely grateful to have a job waiting for me after graduation. But I am also lost; lost because I’ve loved every minute of being a student—even the truly horrible and stressful parts—and I’m not sure how to cope with not being one anymore.

But whether I’m ready or not, here life comes. So here’s to my last day as a member of The Daily Aztec family. Here’s to four years as an Aztec, which are forever embedded in my heart.

But most of all, here’s to you SDSU students who still have a little time left. I hope it’s everything for you that it was for me.


By Paige Nelson

Honestly, San Diego State didn’t feel like home to me until I found The Daily Aztec. I was a lost little freshman looking for a place to belong and finally found solitude within the fortress of cubicles in the basement, located on a remote part of campus. I started out as a staff photographer, doe-eyed and willing to do anything to impress my editor—even if it meant getting thrown around at a metal concert and denting a lens (yes, that really happened). I didn’t have a clue what I was getting myself into when I stepped into the photo editor position last year. I’ve had the pleasure of working with some of the greatest people on campus and watching them grow. It’s been a wild ride, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.  Only a true DAztec could appreciate or understand the madness that is this newspaper. I’ve met some of the best friends of my life here, and for that, I am forever thankful.