Leaving is weird; not leaving is even weirder

By Alyssa Creamer

This isn’t an exit. Nor is it an entrance. Mainly out of the kind of confusion conflicting ideas bring about what this column could or should be, I won’t let it be like my usual writing. I will do little to set the scene of my collegiate career or time at the Daily Collegian with the kind of journalistic sequencing that breathes from my news stories.

So, for the sake of a small bit of clarity, you may know this column is being written somewhere in the in-between, and not just because I’m not truly leaving the Collegian (see you in September, underclassmen), but more because that’s where you happen to find me emotionally.

When I do finally graduate somewhere within the decade, though likely after the world fails to end, I will continue to be a journalist. I’m not making my first entrance into journalism upon my graduation date, so this column won’t bother you with whining about career anxieties. A poorly written ‘zine’ produced in an elementary school circa 1999 marked the awkward moment when my career, and more importantly, my resolve to be a journalist catalyzed. The kitchen’s corner cluttered by a five-foot stack of Collegians and clippings with my byline peeking up from front pages has, mostly, legitimized it.

For those of you who met me, you know this to be true: over the past four years, I’ve sung pitch after pitch about what my newspaper can do for student journalists. And it’s a hell of a lot. Particularly in the vein of defining your ethics, cleaning up your writing and doing, rather than playing, newsroom.

Somewhere in the near future, as I am able to color interviews with stories from the trenches of student media, my fortune to have worked for such a precious gem of a newsroom will be even more crystalized.

I feel ready to leave, but my mind never makes it past the point where I pack up and start running.

It’s the kind of restlessness I learned in our offices.

This kind of feeling stems from the fact that I’m more attached to the people I love to work with, who are either gone from these offices, going from these offices or preparing to leave within the next few years.

So, I’m ready to go soon, too. My family at the Collegian made me ready. Before I came to this University, I knew my heart could, without crumbling, handle the job of observing and describing many of the darkest pockets humans experience. And while the details are for me to know and my staff – upon pain of legal consequences resulting from violating a contract I am drawing up – to never reveal, I’ve had a rough couple of years personally. Rough enough to last me well into my 40s, thank you very much, Shiva.

The Collegian has been my home – where I’ve planted roots, grown, wilted and bloomed through the seasons.

And through every third-person referencing, muttering rant and a number of moments where my eyes got real big in disbelief so I could take the world out of focus to just think, the Collegian has been there. It’s been there with people who care, who are smart enough to remind me to blink. “Then tackle this shit with at least your eyesight, Creamer.”

For a collective body of individuals that otherwise would most likely never connect as deeply among the ocean of UMass’ students, I could never summon better support.

My Collegian family endlessly delivered words and patience clear cut, biting and beautiful enough that they sink into my spine and help me stand a little taller.

This kind of support doesn’t make me as nervous about change, the future, the “war on women,” North Korean rockets, getting a health insurance policy, AP Style alterations or Boston’s annual crime reports.

As a reporter, needing to write the senior column, which often falls either into triteness or cynicism, is a weird endeavor. While I’m pragmatic, nearly unfaltering so, and therefore, tend to align closer with cynics, I am intentionally allowing myself to err closer to the side of triteness in an attempt to convey how much this newspaper has meant to me.

If I can’t convey it properly, well, this column wasn’t really a service for anyone but me anyway. If it wasn’t important, I’d probably have just procrastinated on it and put it off until next year.

I’m signing out as Editor-in-Chief, feeling as though my training in these offices is nearly complete.

Now, I’m off to the office to tell someone to do something for the last time.

Alyssa Creamer was the Editor-in-Chief of the Massachusetts Daily Collegian. She can be reached at [email protected]