Melancholy. That’s how I feel, mostly. It’s the same feeling I get when I finish a really good book. Only this time, I can’t flip back to the beginning and start rereading it.
My time with The Parthenon is almost finished, and the melancholy is really taking hold. Two-and-a-half years ago my journey started, with my first story published in September 2017. Since then, I was a reporter, then copy editor, then managing and now executive editor. And I’ve loved every second of it.
The experiences granted to me through The Parthenon have impacted my life for the better. Yes, I’ve given two years of my life to this paper, but I wish I could give many, many more. I’m never very good at goodbyes, and saying my farewells to the newsroom, The Parthenon, my wonderful staff of editors and reporters has and will continue to take a lot out of me.
That’s not to say I’m not excited for the future. I accepted a job at West Virginia Executive Magazine, and I do hope that my readers will follow me there as they’ve followed my journey here. But if it wasn’t for The Parthenon, I would not be nearly as prepared for the real world as I am.
I could say that I feel robbed, that because of complications resulting from COVID-19, my tenure as executive editor—and my last semester at the paper—has been cut way too short. All in all, though, I’m just thankful to have had this opportunity in the first place. Part of me is sad to have missed out on a few extra print nights with my Parthenon family, but I’m fortunate that we are all as safe as we are. I’ll always have all the other print nights tucked away where I keep my fondest memories, and I will think of them often.
It is not lost on me that this is my final Ginger’s Guide. I’ve had such a fun time writing this series of columns, which have helped me even more to find my voice. I may not always focus on series topics such as politics and current world affairs; I view my Ginger’s Guide columns as an escape of some sort. Plus, as silly as it may sound, they’ve really helped me grow in my identity. My red hair is something I can’t change, and I will always embrace it.
I remember traveling to Marshall my senior year of high school for Green and White Day. I remember coming into the newsroom for the first time and thinking of how amazing everything was. In short, I was in awe. This is what I wanted to do; this is where I wanted to be. I knew coming to Marshall would be the right decision for me, and it was. It always will be. (Plus, learning that Parthenon editors are paid for their work didn’t hurt that decision, either.)
So, from my first published story to my last, it has been a journey that I am incredibly thankful for. I’ve given a lot to The Parthenon, and it’s given a lot back to me. I’ve met and interviewed so many incredible people; I’ve helped to tell their stories, and I hope they think I’ve told them well. Every interviewee, every professor, every editor and reporter I’ve worked with, thank you. To my loving and supportive network of family and friends, thank you. Please know you have all helped me grow as a journalist; I could and would not do this without you.
Melancholy is one heck of an emotion to deal with. But there’s happiness there, too. In the next few months, when I’m really sad and missing The Parthenon while working my new job, that happiness will show itself to me. I’ll recollect all the good times, and while I’ll always wish I could have more, just one more print night or editors’ meeting or interview with one more source for a story, I’ll be satisfied with and thankful for what I’ve been given. I hope I’ve served you well.
Either at Green and White Day, or my freshman orientation, I don’t quite remember which, I received a Parthenon cup. One side claims headlines and deadlines are my life, and the other says to make my mark and leave my legacy. I hope I made my mark here at The Parthenon, and maybe left behind a legacy, too.
Amanda Larch can be contacted at [email protected]