Senior Goodbye: Q Russell

I joined The Appalachian on a whim. My freshman year, someone on my floor mentioned something about the school paper, so I tagged along because it was a Thursday night, and I didn’t have anything better to do.

Cut to four years later, and I can’t imagine my life without The Appalachian.

For anyone familiar with my work, you’ll know that I’ve spent most of my time here writing angry opinions about all the things wrong with the world. There have been exceptions, but the broader body of my work displayed what could be called an almost excessive amount of vitriol toward the Republican Party, and that’s just what readers saw after edits. In retrospect, I probably could’ve been a bit nicer, but that’s in the past, and I meant every word.

Writing this is difficult. How do you sum up four years of memories and experiences in a couple hundred words? I have changed so much during my time working here.

When I came to App State, I was a scared kid struggling with my sense of self-worth, desperately trying to find a place in the world. I’m still scared and trying to figure that last part out, but I’ve grown more confident, and I’m definitely not a kid anymore.

One thing that marked my time at The Appalachian was failure. I tried a lot of things, and I failed at a lot of things. Sure, I had my successes, but working for The Appalachian definitely taught me how to fail with grace and learn from it.

I know that, because of The Appalachian, I’ve developed a solid foundation that will propel me forward into whatever career I end up in. The skills I’ve acquired here will last me a lifetime.

There are a couple of people I’d like to thank before finishing this thing out. Each one of them has been instrumental to my growth over these last couple of years.

I’d like to thank my family for supporting me through thick and thin. Without your support, I’d be nothing. I love you guys so much, and words can’t express the depths of my gratitude.

To my professors, especially Carolyn Edy and Scott Welsh, under your guidance, I have grown to be a far better writer than I ever could have been on my own. Thank you for your dedication and your time, and thank you for putting up with my inability to keep my mouth shut.

I think the person that deserves the most credit for my growth during my time at App State is Christopher Farthing. You’ve been an incredible mentor to me, and a lot of what I’ve accomplished can be traced back to lessons you’ve taught me. Chris, thank you so much for putting up with that incredibly awkward, immature kid and helping him become something resembling a functioning adult. I hope when I’m older, I’m able to be just like you.

Finally, I’d like to thank everyone I’ve ever worked with during my time at The Appalachian. Nothing I’ve done here would be possible or mean anything without the hard work you all put in day after day. A special shoutout goes to Tommy Mozier for sticking it out at the opinion desk. I know that it’s going to be rough next year, but I have full faith that you’re going to do great. You’re a fantastic writer, and you have strong arguments. You’ve got this.

You know, it may have been a whim that lead me here, but The Appalachian really became my home. I’m going to miss everything about it, for better or worse. It sure is going to hurt when I walk out of that office for the last time.