University Journal Staff Sign-Off: Until Next Year

Saying goodbye is never fun and many of us at the University Journal didn’t get the goodbye we wanted from the 2019-2020 school year. Our goodbyes slipped out of our hands when we received the news that Southern Utah University was moving to online classes in March.

We knew that our lives would be different and changed forever, not only for the students that are graduating from SUU but for those that will continue their education in the fall. 

We are all changed forever, always looking back in our lives pre-COVID-19.

The lyrics of “Good Old Days” by Mackelmore featuring Kesha perfectly explain college life before the pandemic. 

          I wish somebody would have told me, babe
         Someday, these will be the good old days
         All the love you won’t forget
         And all these reckless nights you won’t regret
        Someday soon, your whole life’s gonna change
         You’ll miss the magic of these good old days

Since the “good old days” are officially behind us, we are now left with our goodbyes unsaid and the chapter unfinished. At times like this, it is important we look back on our time at SUU to help us move forward. 

Many of us here at the University Journal are either graduating or transitioning to a new job. These are our thoughts on this past school year and our time at SUU. 

In essence, here are our goodbyes.

Cassidy Harmon

“I have been a part of the University Journal for three years. The people I worked with became my best friends and the office my safe haven from the struggles of the world. This past semester, I had so many ideas and plans of how I wanted to commemorate my time at SUU before graduating with my Master’s degree, but I didn’t get that. 

I am so sad my time at the UJ is over because I loved every minute of it. I loved meeting students and faculty and being their instrument to tell the world their story. Now I face a new horizon of life after college and I’m nervous. But I know with a surety that because of my experiences at SUU and my time at the University Journal I am prepared to face the future, even amidst the worldwide pandemic.”

Connor Sanders
Sports Editor

“I, like many of us, really thought 2020 was going to be my year. I finished the fall semester well, set a bunch of goals for myself and thought I was going to hit the ground running. 

The first half of the spring was much more challenging, and then COVID-19 hit and put the world on pause. My initial reaction was frustration. Then, as I struggled to adjust to a structureless routine that comes with online instruction, I started to feel myself slip. 

The Coronavirus reminded me that I’m just another bag of flesh trying to find its way on this planet. My biggest takeaway from this school year is that you can only do as much as you truly desire to, even with seemingly insurmountable obstacles in the way.”

Liz Armstrong
Accent Editor

“My job as the Accent Editor for the University Journal has given me more than just helping me find my passion; it gave me a family. The office became the place on campus that I immediately went to in my spare time. I became close with everyone else who worked in the journal, and as a sophomore finally experiencing what being homesick really means, these people became my family. 

The University Journal became my home away from home, and that’s an experience that’s completely unforgettable. As I packed up my apartment and moved back home for the summer, I felt a little bit empty inside. I realized I was lucky to have a place that made it so hard to leave. 

I hope these four and a half months fly by because I can’t wait to come back and do what I love, surrounded by people I love.”

                                                                               Reyce Knutson
Outdoor Editor

“I’m a pretty sentimental person… so summing up my time at the UJ in a few sentences will be tough. At the Journal I was quickly fostered into a second family. I have loved every minute of SUU, and the opportunity to hone my writing and creativity at the Journal has been one of the hallmarks of my college experience. Coupling my love of the outdoors with writing made taking ownership of the outdoors section that much easier. 

My final year of school has been too short a time to spend with such excellent and admirable hobbits–er, I mean, journalists. With graduation nearing, though I see metaphorical white ships on the horizon come to carry me home, I will always fondly reflect on my time spent immersed in reporting and writing fervor. “

Amanda Walton
Life Editor

“Being a part of the SUU Journal this past year has changed my life. While I have a lot to love and a lot to thank, my coworkers are number one. The people who work here do so because they love it. We love writing and learning about the people at SUU and what they’re doing to change the world. I have learned so much from them and continue to learn from the amazing students and faculty at SUU. 

Working together to make the November issue of the magazine that discussed mental health, sexual assault and several other sensitive topics was truly one of the most amazing accomplishments of my college career thus far. I am so lucky to work with people who care and have voices that need to be heard. Most importantly, I am so grateful for the people who read the magazine and supported us. 

Thank you, SUU! We’ll see you next year. “

                                                                               Alex Greenwell
News Editor

“I was lucky enough to start at the University Journal in October as the News Editor. When I began, we were working on our mental health magazine, “No.” It was a great start to my time at the University Journal and I was excited to be surrounded by all the talented writers and staff.

During my time at SUUnews, I’ve had the opportunity to get more involved with the T-Bird and Cedar City community. I’ve loved covering stories from A.P.E.X. speakers, the Pride Alliance, the Leavitt Center and other resources on campus. But most of all I’ve loved being a part of a team at SUU that has helped me grow as a writer, a reporter, and an editor.

It’s been a fun and memorable year being the news editor for SUUnews. I’m happy that I’ve gotten the chance to take part in producing content focusing on SUU, southern Utah and the amazing people found here. But most of all I am grateful that I was able to do it alongside the amazing staff at the University Journal.”

Nicole Heath
Copy Chief

“I had a clear plan at the beginning of the year. It seemed daunting, but everyone assured me that I could get it done. My coworkers here at the Journal have been there every step of the way, and I can’t be more grateful for them.

Because of the state of the world right now, those plans have had to change, but the goal has remained the same. Without them, I might have given up. With them, I know I still have a chance. 

This last year at the University Journal has been an enlightening experience. I’ve met some amazing coworkers and worked on some life-changing pieces that have affected students across campus.

Of all of the things I am most proud of, I’m glad I simply got to be a bigger part of something special. Though I’m hanging up my hat as the Copy Chief here, I will never forget the things I’ve learned and the people I learned them with. ”                                 

                                                      Alex Schilling

“My time at Southern Utah University has been focused on trying new things within the Communications department. Radio, TV and of course working for the Journal have exposed me to a lot of different styles of producing news content. It’s been a great four years and the first time I’ve genuinely enjoyed school. 

While I won’t get the full SUU graduation experience, it has been great getting my bachelor’s degree at SUU. I’m off to work essential jobs with writing on the side until this whole pandemic thing ends!”

Lacy Truman

“I have absolutely loved being a reporter for the SUU University Journal. With this job, I was able to bring together my love for people and photography. Being able to listen to people from different backgrounds speak, play instruments and present their art is amazing. 

I remember the first time I had to interview someone, I felt a bit timid because it was new and different. However, during the interview, I fell in love with the process. It was kind of like asking a close friend a bunch of questions about themselves and being able to learn along the way.”

                                                                      Larissa Beatty

“The struggle is real. If I could caption my school year with one phrase, that would be it. But the picture that goes with that caption looks entirely different than what I thought it would. I returned to SUU halfway through the year from an 18-month break with no idea what I was doing. Then the moment I started to feel like I had solid ground beneath my feet, COVID-19 came along and swept it away.

But because of that, I learned to be okay with change (a monumental feat if you know me). I learned how to turn off my perfectionist mind and allowed myself to not have a mental breakdown over getting a B on a test. I fell in love with writing again. This isn’t really goodbye because I’m headed straight into summer semester, just my artist statement for the unexpectedly beautiful picture this school year turned out to be.” 

This was not the goodbye any of us were looking for, but it was the one we were given. For many of us, our time at the University Journal is now complete and for some, it is just beginning. 

Needless to say, no matter where any of us are in life, it’s important to never take for granted the opportunities we are given and the people we are surrounded by.

Until next year SUU.

Story by: Cassidy Harmon
Photos Courtesy of Baylee Terrones, Mitch Quartz, Liz Armstrong, Alex Greenwell, Alex Schilling, Larissa Beatty, Reyce Knutson, Lacy Truman