Erskine: Goodbye — thank you for helping me believe in myself

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Collegian | Cat Blouch

Maddy Erskine, Arts and Culture Editor

Editor’s Note: Traditionally, graduating seniors working at The Collegian are given the chance to write a farewell note at the end of their tenure at CSU.

Saying goodbye to this incredible newspaper has been something I was trying to hold off on for as long as possible. Jokes about failing classes to stop people from graduating and leaving us are common in the newsroom because we are truly a family that loves each other and the work we get to do here. 

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But I am not graduating — at least, not anytime soon. I was tempted to write this as a “goodbye for now” column, but in all honesty, it is unlikely I will return, despite my love for this place. It is time for me to leave Colorado State University and pursue my career — a career that would not be possible without my time here at The Collegian. While I am excited to embark on the journey ahead, I am grieving my departure from this lovely team of people. 

I joined The Collegian back in August 2020 after having a random conversation with our amazing former Editor-in-Chief Lauryn Bolz. To be honest, I had never really thought I was capable of being a journalist until this conversation. 

“I got the opportunity to grow not only as a journalist but as a leader, a team player and a person. There are simply not enough words to express my thanks to this group of people.”

I started at CSU as an anthropology major because I liked the idea of studying arts and culture. Lauryn explained to me that I could write about this passion in our student newspaper, and I was immediately sold. 

With no journalism experience, I became a reporter for our arts and culture desk. After one semester and a lot of learning, I applied to be the arts and culture editor. This was the best decision I made throughout college. 

I switched my major to journalism and realized this is something I want to do for the rest of my life. 

I have gotten the privilege to fully dive into my passion for local arts and culture here at The Collegian. From writing local music playlists to covering events like the ACT Human Rights Film Festival, there is never a boring day at this job. 

Becoming an editor allowed me to share this passion with others. I will never forget all the amazing reporters I’ve gotten to work with and the incredible stories that they have written. 

I will never forget Noah Pasley’s obsession with sea shanties and how his sea shanty playlist was one of our top-read stories at the time. 

I will never forget the shared love I have for bearded dragons with our (now former) Arts and Culture Director Kota Babcock and how our lizards would join our Zoom meetings. 

I will never forget what it felt like to be isolated and in a pandemic but being OK because I knew I was not alone. 

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I got the opportunity to grow not only as a journalist but as a leader, a team player and a person. There are simply not enough words to express my thanks to this group of people.

Without The Collegian, I would have never had the confidence to start creating zines — a form of self-published independent media. I never would have found my passion for print media, which I will now fight to keep alive as we continue to live in a digital world. 

I would have never had the confidence to buy a printer and help start Scrapped Magazine, a DIY-style multimedia magazine for the nonprofit Blast N Scrap that we print at my house every month. 

Without The Collegian, I would have never had the confidence to leave CSU and take my dream job as a music booking agent for The Lyric. 

I gained a skill I have struggled with my whole life: believing in myself. And as I cry and type this goodbye column, I want everyone to know just how special of a place The Collegian is and will always be. 

While I won’t be on campus for class or for work anymore, I will be stopping by once a week to pick up my copy of The Collegian.

Maddy Erskine was the arts and culture editor and can no longer be reached at entertainment@collegian.com but can be reached on Twitter @maddyerskine_.