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My first, and last, story

My first, and last, story

Graduation Issue 2022


For those that know me at The Daily, seeing my byline probably comes as a surprise. For the 10 quarters I worked at this publication, I always said I would never write a story. Not surprising, as I’ve only ever written four papers in the entirety of college, but it feels appropriate for my first and last piece to be in this Graduation Issue.

Having not written a word for The Daily until now, you may be asking what I’m doing here. My job has always been to let the work of others stand out. That mainly comes in the form of a page design with the appropriate spacing and headline font size, among other seemingly mundane, but important, design choices. When the pandemic hit and we were all sent home, my job became making illustrations so stories without an accompanying photo could still run. These may not be the reason so many of you have picked up a paper or clicked on an article to read, but I’ve seen it as a way to celebrate others’ work and find my own success in that.    

The Daily has been a place that has challenged me — to illustrate when I’d never done so before, to redo a spread I loved when the word count came in 400 words over, to manage a team of designers or to stay up way past my bedtime waiting for stories to come in. It’s also challenged me to think deeper about the media I’m consuming, about the impact words have and about the responsibility I have to change things that are outdated or exclusionary. I find myself inspired by the students I was surrounded by at The Daily and their care for the work they produce, their creativity and their resilience to do all of this while balancing everything else in their everyday lives.

I started working at this publication as a freshman because it was something I had done in high school and I was looking for a little bit of comfort 2,000 miles from home. I could not imagine then that it would give me friendships I will hold onto forever, a greater confidence in myself and my work and a perspective on the world only those around me could have offered. I’m forever grateful for what The Daily has given me and proud of what I have done during my time here.

 I’ll end with a quote that hangs on the design room wall on the third floor of Norris University Center, handwritten on an inside spread of a Daily paper by Carly Schulman and myself after a long night of designing: “Design could publish the paper without the Daily staff, but the Daily staff could never publish a paper without design”. Next time you pick up a paper or see an illustration, remember the time and care that goes into those designs along with the stories.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @emmagruck