By Greg Dudek
This makes 141.
That is the number of stories I have written in my four years working for The Comment and this is the last one.
It does not seem possible that after all the staff meetings, the production nights and long hours spent in a tiny secluded office that it is coming to an end.
Unlike many students at Bridgewater State University, I was in a very unique position as a freshman, as I was already part of The Comment before I even stepped foot on campus.
I started off as the Assistant Sports Editor and have worked my way up since then. I became the Sports Editor, then Managing Editor and have spent my senior year leading The Comment as Editor-in-Chief.
I have formed relationships along the way, not only with fellow students who I worked alongside, but with many students, coaches, and faculty members I interviewed over the years.
To this day, I don’t know if they know who I am, but I know who they are. Usually, I’m the tall kid with notebook and recorder in hand, waiting off to the side to talk with that coach and player, waiting for the chance to tell the Bridgewater State community a story that they might not ever get to hear.
Over my four years, I have seen The Comment go through its ups-and-downs, just like any other organization. I was there when we broke ground and made new strides in redefining the paper. I was also there through the tough times, facing backlash from Bridgewater State administrators and local media outlets.
It was all worth it though. It is what has made this experience unlike anything else. I wouldn’t have wanted the good times without the bad because when things go wrong, they make the good times that much better.
I will always remember my first time in The Comment office and I am sure I will remember the last time. I have spent more time than anyone should in that office. They can sometimes feel like the longest days of my life.
Leaving The Comment office at 2 a.m. on production night with all the lights off in the Rondileau Campus Center, it’s hard not to think, “Why do I do this?”
The life of a journalist is not glamorous, yet it is what I love. Give me the long hours and the late nights. Give me five stories to write in less than a week. Give me the chance to inspire someone with my words.
I fell in love with all these things as a journalist at The Comment.
Now as I say goodbye to something that has always been there for me throughout my college career, I have realized what an incredible ride this has been.
I have poured more than my blood, sweat and tears into this paper and I wouldn’t take back one minute of it.
I am so thankful for every coworker, whether they worked a semester or for a couple of years with me on the paper. And I am especially thankful for anyone who has read a story I have written because there is no other feeling like it in this world when someone takes time out of their day to read something you worked so hard on.
I just wish there was more time, so I could just write even one more story to add to the other 141.
Greg Dudek is the Editor-in-Chief of The Comment. Follow him on Twitter @gdudek10 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.