By AMBER AINSWORTH, Editor-in-Chief

Three and a half years ago I walked into the Michigan Journal office wanting to write. That day I told myself that I would be editor-in-chief of that paper.

It seemed like such an unattainable goal as a freshman who knew nothing other than that she loved to write. Without any journalism experience, I began covering campus events and trying to get a feel for the field.

Now, it seems weird to write my last piece as editor.

The time I’ve spent writing and taking photos for the paper has been so valuable.

Because of the Journal, I’ve shot concerts, covered festivals, interviewed some of my favorite artists, met amazing people and photographed Michigan football games.

The paper allowed me to explore so many avenues of journalism and better understand what I wanted to do. My work at the paper has led me to internships and, most recently, an abroad trip I will be taking in the summer to do music journalism, the work I did most for the Journal.

If I wasn’t certain of my career choice before, spending four years growing as a writer and photographer with the paper was the perfect way to know I was in the right place.

I graduate in December. As my college career gets closer to ending, I can easily say that the paper has had one of the largest impacts on me.

This past year has had its challenges. It’s been tiring and, at times, very stressful, but it has been one of the best experiences I’ve been fortunate enough to have.

This year’s Journal team has been an amazing group of people to work with. Making a weekly paper wasn’t the easiest task at times, especially with some editor shakeups we faced, but the team made it happen.

I am so proud of what everyone was able to accomplish and thankful for the group of people responsible for it every week.

Spending my Mondays in the office all day every week was sometimes exhausting, but the final product was worth it. Plus, the editorial team did a great job of always keeping me sane on production days.

And a special shoutout needs to be given to Alexis, who spent every Monday reminding me that the paper looked good, even when it seemed like making a paper that week would be impossible.

I’ll miss burrito Mondays, making fun of Maria, jamming to Spotify in the office when it’s late and we need a pick-me-up, and group chats that almost never stay on course.

While I’ve held other leadership roles in the past, nothing compares to what running the paper was like. It’s been a roller coaster, but it was great.