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Graduating is easy. Saying goodbye is harder.

“Have you ever thought about writing for the Talon?”

I was asked this question in March 2019. It took only a bit of convincing for me to join the Talon and it has been one of the best decisions of my college career, which will be coming to an end in just a week.

I had just been introduced to the Talon’s editor-in-chief for the upcoming school year, Keaton Ross. He knew I was in the communications department and was already scouting out his potential staff. After a few conversations about the Talon, he badgered me into picking up an application and joining a new team.

In my new role as assistant news editor, I became more involved in the happenings all around campus. I reported on everything from new professors to chapels to social clubs. While some weeks were slow-going when it came to news, most featured compelling stories and interesting people.

This semester, I have served as news editor and covered the significant changes on campus due to COVID-19. I wrapped up the year with a story about a racist incident and the school’s subsequent investigation–I only hope stories like this can hold individuals accountable and instigate changes to prevent hate.

When I joined the Talon, I felt as though I had no real place on campus. My circle was relatively small and I kept to myself. However, I began to contribute something to Oklahoma Christian. I was telling the stories of individuals from every corner of campus.

This is one of the best things the Talon has to offer: having the opportunity to interact with people across the community and hear the thoughts and stories of hundreds of individuals. While our school is small, everyone has something they contribute to make it an interesting, lively place.

Some moments were difficult. I was tasked with writing a story in memory of one of my sisters in Theta who passed away unexpectedly over winter break. It is the kind of story no one wants to write, but sharing the loving memories of her life was comforting and allowed those who may not have known her to understand the kind and gracious person she was. 

Some tasks were tedious but had unexpected benefits. part of my responsibilities included writing a weekly news brief which summarized the major national, state and local news from the previous week. Combing through news headlines every weekend is not always my favorite task, but it has instilled an awareness of what is happening in the world. I have begun to value keeping up with the news and staying informed.

Many, many moments were full of fun. So many Talon meetings were spent catching up with my fellow staff members and some were filled with their fair share of campus gossip. We’re journalists, after all–we love sharing the inside scoop. Talon meetings were always a highlight of my Mondays and Wednesdays and I will miss those times dearly.

I will cherish all the memories I now share with the Talon staff and every person I have encountered while telling their stories. I have grown into a more well-rounded individual and a stronger writer due to my experience interacting with people across campus.

Leaving behind late nights of homework or life in antiquated campus housing is easy. Small moments like feeling proud of a particular story or going to Chili’s with the Talon staff is what makes saying goodbye at graduation so difficult. The time you share with great people leaves an impact you can never expect.

Elise and Caleb: you have been excellent co-editors-in-chief. I will miss brainstorming for story ideas, spontaneous texts about our articles, getting the inside information on what’s happening around the school and figuring out how to run the Talon with a relatively small staff. I think you two have done a pretty great job. 

Dr. Patterson: you challenge me, along with all of your students, to become a better writer, thinker and person. I will always appreciate your feedback. Both your criticism and praise are cherished.

Donovan and Evan, the fall news reporters: I have so enjoyed watching the two of you develop your skills and dig into the campus scene. I hope you both keep working hard and grow far in your Talon careers.

And Keaton, the Talon’s former editor-in-chief? We hit it off from our first introduction. While it took a few months to make our connection official, we have now been dating for nearly a year. Perhaps the Talon is more than a newspaper—it may also be a matchmaking service.

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