Senior Farewell: Stephan Early

by Stephan Early, Senior Staff Writer

As I begin to navigate this quickly approaching turn in my life’s path, I can’t help but think about the places I’ve had to go through to get here. It hasn’t been a short or easy journey. The plan has always been to get past this point and get on with the rest, building a better life. I’ve kept my eyes forward and knew at every step that I would have to say some goodbyes. Actually, I have rather enjoyed watching those I’ve worked and grown with move on to bigger and better things. I tell myself to remember that my classmates, cohorts and colleagues were always supposed to part ways, and this is a natural evolution. This typically works well.

I must admit this time around, I am having more trouble than usual. San Diego State University has extended opportunities I have been so blessed to be a part of and will always be thankful for. The opportunity I am most happy to be a part of is a legacy that spans far ahead of my time and hopefully will continue long after I’m gone.

The DA isn’t just a place where I have learned the power of the press, it’s a place where I learned the power of those who take it upon themselves to tell others’ stories with passion and truth. I could go on about the blood, sweat and tears this group of editors, writers, photographers and videographers have collectively given in the pursuit of getting the story right, but the proof is in the paper. Open any issue, click on any video, and you will find student journalists finding their voices. 

When I first joined the DA, I felt like an outcast. Unlike every other stage of my life, I wasn’t winning many friends with ease. I was much older than many of my colleagues and wasn’t even sure that this was a path I really wanted to take. It’s an office where many people come and go. So, it’s understandable to treat folks with caution. Then, I leaned in. I focused in on the work. I focused on collaboration. I focused on what it is that we do. One day somebody cracked a joke while we were in the middle of putting together the next big story. I looked up to see the laughing faces of a group that I had spent quite some time with and alongside producing award-winning content. We laughed till it hurt and then went right back to work. I gained my friends in the newsroom from long hours and the stress of making our weekly rag happen, together. Thank you, members of The Daily Aztec.  We made some cool stuff.

I also want to give a very special thank you to the Boss Ladies I have had the pleasure and privilege of reporting to. So, to my whole Band of Boss…Editors, (yes, you too, Will!) thanks for killing my precious words so the strong ones could thrive.

Someone once said, “The devil works hard, but we work harder.” I think they were right.

And for The Daily Aztec, I’m Stephan Early.