I’m so over writing headlines

Kylie Balk-Yaatenen, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Kylie Balk-Yaatenen was the Arts & Entertainment editor for the 2021-2022 (Kylie Balk-Yaatenen / Advance-Titan)

My time has finally come to write a senior sendoff, and I have been struggling to decide how I wanted to start it. I obviously have so many people to thank and so many things I learned in my time here that I want to share, and I will get to that, but I do want to share what graduating means to me. It starts out sad, but try to bear with me and keep reading.

To say that this year has been rough is being generous. On Jan. 18, my world stopped when my grandpa passed away not even a year after being diagnosed with cancer. It was very difficult because I haven’t lost anyone that important to me yet. He was the person you could go to with any question, and he always had the answer. I wanted him to see me graduate, but I know he will be there in spirit.

My grandpa’s motto was  “que será, será,” or “whatever will be will be,” which means we are not in control of what happens. COVID-19 showed just how true that saying was. After getting sent home during the spring semester of my sophomore year when the whole world shut down due to COVID-19, then going to school during a global pandemic and spending a full year in virtual classes while living under the continual threat of the coronavirus,  I know that we are definitely not in control. I am graduating knowing that these past four years have been anything but easy, and saying that means I can do anything I set my mind to.

OK, now that the sad stuff is out of the way, let’s talk about The Advance-Titan. The newspaper staff members have been incredible to work with. I went from being a Campus Connections writer who only wrote one story to editor of the Arts and Entertainment section. I have learned so much from everyone.

I would like to thank adviser Barb Benish for always being there to help me fix my page when nothing seems to work. I will miss your CDs and your dance moves. One thing I will never forget to check for is rich black text!

Cory Sparks, you have been an incredible leader and friend. I have no doubt that you are going to do amazing things. Thank you for always being there to answer my questions about quite literally anything. Also thank you for being the best person to joke around with.

Owen Peterson and Katie Pulvermacher, you two have been incredible friends and great people to work with. I will never forget all of our jokes … anywho, hopefully, you two will actually get work done next year without me there.

Mattie Beck, you have been so fun to work with, I will miss sitting by you. I will never forget how much you have helped me run the A&E section and put together our pages.

One more thank you is to Dr. Filak; you have been an incredible adviser. You have helped me with my writing, finding jobs and even helped get me through your classes without failing.

I will end this by saying I have loved being a part of the journalism department at UWO, and I will always cherish the memories and friendships I have made while working for The A-T.