Senior Goodbye: Reilly Finnegan

I don’t even know where to begin. I obviously knew the day would come when I would have to say goodbye to Boone, App State, The Appalachian and the routine of seeing familiar faces every day, but this is the first of many goodbyes, and it hadn’t really hit me until now.

When I came to App State, I did not plan on joining the newspaper, but after a push from my mom my sophomore year, I figured I’d give it a try. I had always enjoyed writing, but what I really loved was editing. When I walked into the newspaper office for the first time, I didn’t even know if there was a copy editing desk.  

After asking around, I found Victoria Haynes, who was the chief copy editor at the time. Victoria, you immediately welcomed me, took me under your wing, taught me the ropes, believed in me and pushed me to do more. You were the one person I was most comfortable with in the office for a long time. I looked up to you because of your strength and honesty, and ended up following in your footsteps, which I couldn’t have done without your guidance. Thank you for helping me get to where I am today.

Sydney Spann, we did not know each other well in the beginning of my time at The Appalachian. In fall 2017, we started spending more time together until I left to study abroad the next spring. When I came back after much deliberation, you were the most excited to see me and made coming back worth it. Your creativity and kindness inspires me. Thank you for laughing at my jokes when no one else does and thank you for always supporting me.

Nora Smith, our fearless leader, you have done so much for the newspaper and you deserve way more credit than you receive. I am fortunate to have worked by your side this semester, although it feels like it’s been so much longer. Your passion and unwavering dedication motivates me. Remember to take time for yourself as you approach your last semester. Thank you for all you have done.

Jules Blaylock, you are a strong, hard-working woman. I cannot imagine juggling the demands of graduate school, a position on the paper and another job. Thank you for being someone to laugh with and more importantly, the comma queen we wouldn’t know what to do without.

Rachel Greenland, my successor, you will try your hardest to prepare for this position, but nothing can really prepare you for the time and energy you will devote to this role. I promise it will be worth it. I have no doubt that you will be an amazing managing editor.

Most importantly, thank you to my parents for your never-ending support and motivation, and thank you, mom for encouraging me to join The Appalachian in the first place.

I can’t imagine my time in college without the countless long nights in the union I never thought would end or without the friendships I have made through The Appalachian. I have grown in more ways than I can count. Thank you to everyone on the paper for the memories I will never forget and for the stories I will tell for ages. Thank you, The Appalachian for being an unexpected part of college I am so thankful for now.