August 10, 2020

My last byline in the Chimes: A farewell

I’ve been dreading writing this all semester, but it’s finally time to say goodbye to the Chimes as I transition out of my role in leadership and head out into the real world.

Whew. This year has been a doozy—from attempted censorship of our newspaper and our university president stepping down, to experiencing a presidential debate in the press room and causing shenanigans with WXCU. And the cherry on top is this crazy new reality that we’re all still adjusting to. What a crazy way to end my time here.

When I started at the Chimes, I was a quiet, reserved first-year who could barely go up to strangers and ask them a question. I never saw myself being in leadership for the newspaper or doing half the things I’ve done since. And now it’s coming to an end. 

First, I want to say thank you to the amazing women who mentored me when I was just beginning at the Chimes: Mackenzie, Steph, Valerie, and Ashley. Thank you for teaching me, dealing with me being late on assignments, and for letting the lame first-year come with you to New York and get stuck in a snowstorm. That trip quite literally changed my life.

To my family and friends: your support has kept me going. Thank you for reading my stories and encouraging me to chase my dreams, even when I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. Thank you for understanding my late nights and for always giving me the scoop. I can’t thank you all individually, but you know who you are. 

To this year’s staff, especially my fellow seniors: it did not feel right to have our last meeting through a screen. I’m so upset that we didn’t celebrate our last issue when it was printed, because at the time it wasn’t supposed to be our last issue. I’m sorry we ended the year this way.

Regardless, I am so proud of all of you. Watching you grow in your writing and reporting skills has been a joy.

Please continue to watch Tik Toks in the office (but also do some layout editing while you’re at it). Eat a TimBit for me at every meeting, because one day you will miss them, even if you don’t like doughnuts. Take risks, ask the right questions, and write about things that are important. But don’t take yourself too seriously. I can’t wait to see what you accomplish in the years to come. 

To my teammate through all of this, Sydney: These last two years would have been impossible without you doing this with me, and I’m so thankful for your friendship, leadership, honesty, and balls. Thank you for keeping me on track, keeping me grounded, and reminding me to live a little. 

When we met I didn’t know we would become such close friends, but I’m so thankful that this experience has brought us together. We’ll see more concerts, go on more trips, and I promise I’ll never bail on trivia night ever again.

We deserve several margaritas from Condado for this, and your first one after quarantine is on me. 

To Kelly Messinger, our adviser and professor: Thank you for believing in me. There were many times I didn’t think I could do this, and you reminded me that I could. Thank you for pushing me to do things I didn’t think I was ready for and for making me grow. Thank you for answering my late-night texts, helping me figure myself out, and for showing me how to be a strong woman who takes no shit. 

Finally, to our community: thank you for reading our work, answering our questions, and trusting us to tell your stories. I feel lucky to have written for and about this community for the last four years, and I can say with certainty that you are in good hands.

I’m trying not to write too much, so I’m going to end it here. I can’t believe my time with the Chimes is already over, but I’m ready for the next adventure, whatever it is. 

  • Heather Barr is the current Editor-In-Chief of The Chimes and a senior at Capital University, studying Journalism and Professional Writing. hbarr@capital.edu

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