A love letter to the Lariat, my home for 5 semesters

Houston junior Rachel Royster leaves behind a legacy full of color as her term as Editor-in-Chief comes to a close. Kenneth Prabhakar | Photo Editor

By Rachel Royster | Editor-in-Chief

First semester freshman year, I got the email that I was going to be a part-time staff writer for the news desk and soon after, I was writing my first story on the January 6th siege in my Red Roof Inn room with my dog snoring next to me. What I did not realize was that this date in time was going to be memorable in U.S. history as well as my own personal history.

Since that day, I’ve gotten to write about the OALA golf carts being taken away and then reinstated, my experience as an Episcopalian on a Baptist campus, interviewed the president & the first gent on separate occasions, spent a week out at the Branch Davidian compound and have been trusted with the stories of stutterers, racial minorities and victims of multiple off-campus crimes.

I couldn’t possibly count the number of hours I’ve spent in this newsroom, but thank God journalists don’t need to know how to do math anyway.

This job has woken me up at ridiculously early hours to deliver and has kept me at my desk late enough and often enough to be on a first-name basis with the janitors. More than anything though, this job has interwoven the happiest of memories and the sweetest of friendships into my time at Baylor so far. My portfolio would mean nothing if each story wasn’t also a memory. The Lariat staff has given me one of the best college experiences possible.

So thank you to them, for sitting on the ground with me when I feel most defeated. Thank you for getting excited for me with each new article, even if it takes me weeks (months) to actually publish it. Thank you for being the staff that waits until the last person finishes to leave print night. Thank you for trusting me with your experiences and opening up to me in our check ins. Thank you for taking care of the newsroom fish, Libel and Slander (may he rest in perfection). Thank you for walking through the streets of Ireland, Fort Worth, Denver and D.C. as “essential journalists” together. Thank you for tossing out Lariats in the Homecoming parade in the back of a truck with me. Thank you for trusting me when I make decisions you don’t like at first.

While you all have definitely agitated me at least once or twice, those moments are only a spec compared to the countless good memories you’ve all given me in these five semesters. You all have had a massive impact on me, even if it’s only through watching your comma usage improve on Camayak. From small cars to walking laps on the SLC track, I can’t tell you how much I will miss each of you when I’m in D.C. this fall.

To those who are newer to the Lariat and may not relate to many of these moments, I hope you stay on staff long enough to experience what I have here. Get involved, and I can assure you, you’ll be crying when you sign the wall too. I’ll keep scanning the Morning Buzz for your bylines, and I can’t wait to find your familiar faces when we’ve all graduated and are out covering news in the real world.

Houston junior Rachel Royster as she signs the Lariat graduates wall. Kenneth Prabhakar | Photo Editor
Houston junior Rachel Royster as she signs the Lariat graduates wall. Kenneth Prabhakar | Photo Editor

Readers, whether you intend to or not, each click on the Lariat website you’ve made has supported me and reminded me that as long as journalists keep writing, there will still be eyes reading. Thank you for picking up my designs on the newsstands and for flipping through.

Professors, thank you for grilling AP Style into me and teaching me the importance of keeping up with current events. Julie, I hope you aren’t crying, because we still have all summer to get lunch, garden and pour into each other. Mr. Gietzen, what are the two questions we ask ourselves every day? I hope I’ve made you both proud.

Friends, I knew going into this job that (most of) my stories would not get mass media attention, but you have made that happen for the ones that did. Each repost, like, comment and Instagram story was a warm hug and a kind reminder that it’s not about what you do, it’s about who you do it with. I hope I’ve made you proud, and I hope you’ve felt just as supported by me as I have by you.

Thank you all for being such a big part of Baylor to me. I will always look on college fondly because of the bright spot the Lariat created for me here.

For my last time, I’m closing the Camayak tab with a full heart and memories to hold onto forever.

De tout mon cœur,

Rachel Royster | Editor-in-Chief