At the end of a 4-semester journey, current A&L Editor signs off with love

Arts and Life Editor, Erianne Lewis (center), poses with Arts and Life writers Emma Weidmann (left) and Avery Ballmann (right) at her last print night for the Lariat.

By Erianne Lewis | Arts and Life Editor

To be completely honest, I’ve dreaded sitting down to write this for so long. So, in very me fashion, I’m writing it minutes before deadline. How do I summarize the last four semesters of the best job I’ve ever had in an article, without making it a 10-page paper? I’m not sure, but I will try my best.

When I joined the Lariat’s staff as a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed freshman, I had never worked in a newsroom, and I was extremely nervous but excited about all the future possibilities. Walking into the Lariat newsroom for the first time felt like stepping into a TV show. Filled with Apple Macs, desks reserved for editors, a whisper room for interviewing and transcribing quotes and a breakroom with unlimited coffee and snacks — I had entered a world I’d only seen on the screen.

I couldn’t have begun to imagine the connections and friendships I would make and the opportunities that would present themselves because of this job.

Starting as an intern and working my way up to Arts and Life Editor is a journey I’m proud to have had. This job has shaped my college career in the most unique way, and I couldn’t be more thankful for that.

This sign-off wouldn’t be official without me hitting some of my favorite moments during my time at the Lariat. Covering Austin City Limits with a press pass. Traveling to Washington, D.C., to attend what some loosely refer to as the Coachella of student journalism: Media Fest 22. Spending very late nights filled with sweat, tears, lots of coffee and many specially curated Spotify playlists (thank you, Ms. R) to create the newest print edition. Then turning around hours later to wake up insanely early (not 5 a.m. early, but still early) to place said edition on stands throughout campus. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

The rush I feel before interviewing, attending an event or writing an article is only rivaled by the post-interview/article high when you know that the quotes you got were so good or that the article is about to be fantastic.

There is also an excitement that comes from someone telling me they liked an article I wrote or a page I designed. However, the best part without a doubt has been the community that the Lariat has given me.

The people I work alongside each day and night are not just my coworkers; they are family. There is something so special about being surrounded by people who have the same passion for a career as you do. Leaving them will be the hardest part.

To the editors, thank you for being such a supportive group of people who I always knew I could count on. I’ll dearly miss our early morning budget calls, which I hopped on from the comfort of my bed most times.

To my Arts and Life Staff, thank you for trusting me to lead this section and being so willing to assist with anything at any time. The A&L section would not have been possible without you.

To our amazing Lariat advisers and faculty — Julie, Terri, Jamile and Mr. Gietzen — you all have instilled so much wisdom into me during my time on staff, and I’ve grown as a person and a journalist because of it. You’ve also helped me obtain many great opportunities, and for that, I’m forever grateful.

As I wrap up this farewell, I look to the future. I’m beyond excited to join the Baylor in New York program next semester, spending my last few months of undergrad doing something completely new to me.

However, I look forward to opening the Morning Buzz each morning at 6:15 a.m. and checking out the stories of the day, then rolling back over to sleep, because that’s entirely too early to be awake.

This job has definitely been a wild ride, but it’s something I will look back on and smile about for years to come.

Lastly, to you readers, thanks for bearing with me during this sentimental farewell.

Best of luck to all future Lariat staffs, and I look forward to keeping up with the publication.

Peace out, Lariat! It’s been real!

-With love always, Erianne 🙂