Tusinski: My long, strange trip at The Collegian comes to a close

Even though I’ve studied journalism for the last four years, I’ve learned more in The Collegian’s newsroom than I have in any classroom.


Dylan Tusinski, Staff Reporter

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.

I’ve grown as a writer during my time at The Collegian. I’ve learned how to write about almost anything, publishing everything from politics and COVID-19 to sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. Even still, there hasn’t been an article as difficult for me to write as this one. It’s seldom easy to say goodbye.


In November 2020 I was enrolled in Jake Sherlock’s general reporting class. For one of our assignments, we had to write about news events occurring locally, and I wrote an article about COVID-19’s unfolding impact in Larimer County. Sherlock, who is the student media advisor at The Collegian, gave me an A on the assignment and suggested I pitch the article to the news desk.

Larimer County COVID-19 cases spike at start of holiday season” was the first piece of writing I ever had published. It’s not the most hard-hitting piece of journalism anybody has ever written, but it lit a passion for writing within me that burns bright to this day. I will be forever grateful because of it.

“I want to thank The Collegian and its dedicated student journalists for helping ignite my love for truth, writing, storytelling and journalism as a whole.”

A few months later, Opinion Director Bella Eckburg plugged The Collegian‘s opinion desk during one of our shared classes, saying she had spots open for writers on the desk. I reached out to her, and shortly after in early February 2021, I wrote my first official article as a writer for The Collegian. It was a piece titled “Tusinski: Biden needs to better prioritize student debt,” where I spent almost 900 words rambling about the unfolding student debt crisis.

I’ve learned a lot at The Collegian, but one of the most valuable skills I gained was honing my knack for being a shit starter. While writing at the opinion desk, I’d occasionally write a sharply controversial article just to drum up some attention. Some of the most popular were pieces titled “Tusinski: Red Rocks is starting to tumble downhill” and “Tusinski: Colorado is beautiful. Now stop hiking.,” each of which racked up thousands of views and scores of hate emails.

Those pieces and the hate mail they raked in taught me invaluable lessons. I learned how to properly source an article, how to formulate an argument, how to talk to people in the field and most importantly, how to get eyes on my articles. As time went on, I started employing those skills in different roles at the paper. I began to work as a live music reporter, graphic designer, political reporter and news writer at different times for The Collegian, growing as a journalist with each new story.

With less than a month until I (hopefully) walk across the commencement stage to receive my degrees in journalism and media communication and political science, I’ve started to look back at my college career for the first time, and I can’t help but feel an immense gratitude for my time at The Collegian. Truth be told, even though I studied journalism for the last four years, I learned more in The Collegian’s newsroom than in any classroom.

As I step out into the real world, I want to thank The Collegian and its dedicated student journalists for helping ignite my love for truth, writing, storytelling and journalism as a whole. I’ll close out my goodbye column by doing what I’ve done in so many of my articles prior: annoying my editors by tossing a Grateful Dead lyric into my story.

“The storyteller makes no choice/Soon you will not hear his voice/His job is to shed light/And not to master.”

Dylan Tusinski can no longer be reached at news@collegian.com but can be reached on Twitter @dylantusinski.