During my first year as editor-in-chief of the Southern Accent, there was a point when I really considered resigning from the position. I was stressed and tired to the point where I would sometimes break down crying. I stuck it out until the end of the year and was happy that I did. But, when we published our last issue that winter semester, I had no intention of doing the job again. So, it is ironic that I am writing a goodbye letter once more.
Looking back, however, I would not trade the experience of working with the Accent for anything in the world. I’ve learned and grown so much during these past two years — the second one being better than the first one.
Our team has recorded history: a global pandemic, civil unrest, elections and the response of the university and its students throughout all of it. Though the job is arduous and, oftentimes, seemingly not appreciated enough, I am a strong believer that journalism makes a difference. Being a part of this student-led newspaper has been the highlight of my college years. I can’t help but feel a mix of emotions as I write this letter knowing it will be my last issue. But, I also can’t part without thanking the people who got me through this period.
I would first like to thank the Southern Accent team for all the work they’ve put in. The Accent is a team effort of over 24 individuals. Many don’t realize the hours of work each person gives to put out a single issue. I would especially like to thank Professor Alva James-Johnson. She has been the best adviser anyone could ask for. Every week, she pushes us to do better and has stood up for the newspaper time after time.
Of course, I would also like to thank the School of Journalism and Communication (SJC). From day one, I’ve had the privilege of counting on the professors’ undivided support. They have always advocated for student media while at the same time providing constructive criticism. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: To me, the SJC is more than a department — it is a family.
Another person I’d like to give a shoutout to is our previous editor-in-chief Tierra Hayes. Her vision for the Accent saved journalism here at Southern. She inspired and guided many of us; the excellence of her work still leaves a legacy even now that she is gone.
In addition, I could not have done this without my friends — especially Betsy Cortez, Abigail Martin, Anne Pondi and Monica Mendoza. They have seen me at my best and worst throughout this journey and always encouraged me to keep on pushing.
Two people I cannot leave out of this are my parents. Every Monday night while I am copyediting, my mom and dad text me to let me know that they are praying for us. They have been my two biggest fans since day one and have believed in me even when I didn’t.
Thank you, Megan Yoshioka, for taking on the challenge to become the Accent’s new editor-in-chief. I am so proud of how far you’ve come. I really admire your work ethic and the passion to serve. I can’t wait to see what you do next year — whatever it is, I know it will be great.
Finally, I have to thank God. He gave me the strength to get through two years, and the passion to do this job.
After 75 issues of working with the Southern Accent — 53 serving as editor-in-chief — I find it hard to believe that this journey has come to an end. Believe it or not, I have loved every moment of it and will even miss the late nights and stressful deadlines. I feel blessed to do what I love and encouraged to keep on growing as I move forward. Thank you, Southern Adventist University, for trusting the Southern Accent to be the students’ voice and allowing me to be a part of it.