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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Fast times at The Alligator

Chloe Greenberg, Fall 2021 Opinions editor, writes her goodbye to The Alligator

J’etudie journalisme. (I’m studying journalism). (French).

Overheard from a room of Beginning French students practicing conversational phrases, this sentence changed it all. 

It was this phrase that prompted another student in my class to ask me if I was interested in ever working at The Alligator. She knew a friend of a friend who worked there and was looking for copy editors. 

I went in that day and was hired. And I haven’t looked back since.

Of all places, this was where I was introduced to the newspaper I would soon see as a home for the next three years. But that just goes to show: The Alligator runs deep. It’s more than a newspaper or a group of students working together, it becomes a safe haven in the sea of wandering students and academic chaos that is UF. 

So here I am, three years later, saying goodbye to the first place I learned what it means to truly report, to write with intention and to work alongside some of the most talented and dedicated people I will probably ever meet. Working here has taught me more than any class could have. 

It’s been the first place where I’ve truly felt a part of something bigger. The first place I worked alongside others who I consider friends as much as I do mentors. The stress, the late nights, the phone call anxiety: all worth it.

I could go on about how The Alligator made my college experience what it was and completely altered my future path in the best way, blah blah blah. But it’d be out of character for me not to thank the Avenue. This deeply passionate and ever evolving arts and entertainment desk made me the writer I am today, and I’m forever grateful for it. 

Prior to my joining the team as a writer my sophomore year, I had never been introduced to people so talented and passionate about what they do. Hard news is essential and reporting it takes a special kind of drive. But reporting on people and the things they care about, their culture and innermost passions, that’s a whole other feat. And the Avenue never fails to do so with style. 

So, wrapping up my poor attempt at conveying how much this paper means to me, I need to thank everyone who made my experience here what it was. To all the editors I’ve worked under, all the staff writers I worked above and all the friends I’ve made in between: thank you. It’s the people you work with that makes the job worth doing, and we’ve got a pretty bright bunch here. And I’m proud I got to be a small part of it.

I’ve found best friends, a dimly lit basement that feels like home, an interviewer voice I didn’t know I had and most surprisingly, I’ve found myself.

So yeah, on paper, I majored in journalism. But if you ask me — and that’s off the record — I majored in The Alligator.

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