Scrolling Headlines:

UMass tuition set to rise 3-4 percent for 2017-2018 school year -

July 18, 2017

PVTA potential cuts affect UMass and five college students -

July 10, 2017

New director of student broadcast media at UMass this fall -

July 10, 2017

Whose American Dream? -

June 24, 2017

Man who threatened to bomb Coolidge Hall taken into ICE custody -

June 24, 2017

Cale Makar drafted by Colorado Avalanche in first round of 2017 NHL Entry Draft -

June 24, 2017

Conservatives: The Trump experiment is over -

June 17, 2017

UMass basketball lands transfer Kieran Hayward from LSU -

May 18, 2017

UMass basketball’s Donte Clark transferring to Coastal Carolina -

May 17, 2017

Report: Keon Clergeot transfers to UMass basketball program -

May 15, 2017

Despite title-game loss, Meg Colleran’s brilliance in circle was an incredible feat -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball loses in heartbreaker in A-10 title game -

May 14, 2017

Navy sinks UMass women’s lacrosse 23-11 in NCAA tournament second round, ending Minutewomen’s season -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball advances to A-10 Championship game -

May 13, 2017

UMass basketball adds Rutgers transfer Jonathan Laurent -

May 13, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse gets revenge on Colorado, beat Buffs 13-7 in NCAA Tournament First Round -

May 13, 2017

Meg Colleran dominates as UMass softball tops Saint Joseph’s, advances in A-10 tournament -

May 12, 2017

Rain keeps UMass softball from opening tournament play; Minutewomen earn A-10 honors -

May 11, 2017

Former UMass football wide receiver Tajae Sharpe accused of assault in lawsuit -

May 10, 2017

Justice Gorsuch can save the UMass GEO -

May 10, 2017

My apologies to Senator Warren

(Jackson Maxwell)

The opening scene of the amazing mockumentary “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story” shows a television producer desperately trying to find the titular singer, who is scheduled for a performance in two minutes.

The producer eventually finds Cox dramatically brooding in a dark hallway. Cox’s bassist approaches the producer and assures him that “Dewey Cox has to think about his entire life before he plays.”

As I sit here, tasked with writing a column to conclude my four years with the Massachusetts Daily Collegian in a neat bow, I find it impossible – much as I hate to admit it – not to engage in just as dramatic a reflection. For me, what makes this newspaper special isn’t how great it is, (find me a college paper that does as much with as little resources; I dare you) but the people who work and have worked there.

I can’t reflect on my time at the Collegian without thinking of the intimidation I felt attending my first arts section meeting, nor the thrill I felt when I saw my first ever published article in the paper the following week. I have to think back on how the arts and comics staff, who ranged in age from 21 to 25, were so kind and welcoming to me – a very, very young 18 year-old when I was first hired as an arts assistant halfway through my freshman year.

I think of how that semester the arts section became my refuge, the one place where someone like me – who hadn’t a clue of how to function in as complex a social environment as that which exists at the University of Massachusetts – could truly feel comfortable. I don’t remember everything about that semester: All of the articles I wrote and edited or just how long it took me to find my way around the endless quirks of Adobe InDesign. What I’ll always remember are the looks we got from the sports and news staff as we read My Chemical Romance bandfics aloud, combed through the bizarre depths of Flickr and tried to think of the strangest quote to put on the page for that day. Anything but the work we were supposed to be doing.

I can’t forget how many discussions were had my sophomore year about the many highlights of Nicolas Cage’s filmography, UMass Dining’s seeming obsession with cranberries or how best to visually portray a scenario in which Nickelback replaced the Minutemen marching band.

I may not remember exactly how it felt when I became the head of the arts section my junior year, but I’ll definitely remember the time I decided to pass the baton to my successor – upon my decision to go abroad – by joining forces with him to dedicate a special arts page to Coldplay’s “A Head Full of Dreams,” simply because we could.

From my senior year – where my countless hours night editing may have given me some skills that Career Services will encourage me to highlight on my resume – I’ll remember the half-crazed, late-night Don Pardo impressions, the informal karaoke sessions to Miss Juicy’s flawless cover of Kelly Rowland’s “Motivation” and the nightmare I inadvertently created for the poor staff when I trolled a horrifyingly large portion of the UMass student body into thinking that Guy Fieri was the 2017 Commencement speaker, just hours before Senator Elizabeth Warren was announced as the actual speaker.

More than anything, I can’t reflect on my time at the Collegian without thinking of the people, of whom there are far too many for me to list, who altered my experience at UMass for the better. Without them, all of those aforementioned memories wouldn’t exist. Without them, I wouldn’t have wandered around the most beautiful cities in Europe for a semester and occasionally thought to myself, “Man, I sure wish I was in a windowless basement office right about now …”

Without them, the Collegian would be just another college newspaper. Ask anyone who has been working there since dinosaurs roamed the earth (like me) why they’ve been there as long as they have, and they’ll probably give the same answer as I’ve just given you. I’m sure they’re going to miss it as much as I will.

Jackson Maxwell was the arts editor and can be reached at jcksnmaxwell@gmail.com.

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