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I’ll miss more than the coffee

As a child, I was horrified at the thought of attending an all women’s college. My grandfather was the first to introduce me to such a place when I was about 10 or 11. Now, almost a decade and a half later – yes, I’m much older than I actually look – I’m sitting in The Campanil office, drafting my farewell letter to a community I didn’t want to be a part of in my preadolescence. But looking back, I realize how ridiculous it was for me to write-off Mills so quickly.

I came here in the Spring of 2009, after a long stint at community college. I’ll admit that my first semester here was pretty lonely – I was living at my grandfather’s house about half an hour east of Oakland. I tend to be pretty shy in new places and my living situation didn’t leave much opportunity to get to know my classmates. But I kept at it.

Eventually, I found my way into The Campanil office after I saw a post in student news announcing that there was an open house happening. I had always intended to join the paper, but my first experience in the office was terrifying at best. Despite my intimidation, I volunteered to take a couple of pictures for an article that was in the works and promised to return that Monday night for pitch. I took the pictures, turned them in and then never returned. I was too petrified.

It wasn’t until the Fall of 2009 that I overcame my fears and started writing articles consistently. This was partially due to the fact that I was taking Journalism I and I was required to turn in said articles to my professor and be graded on them. The other part of the equation was that I came to Mills specifically for journalism, as that was (and still is) my intended profession, and I really was dying to join the newspaper staff.

Becoming a part of The Campanil has arguably been the most frustrating and rewarding experience of my college career. Many nights have I spent in this office on the verge of tears as well as laughing uncontrollably as delusion set in in the wee hours of the morning. Not to sound overly sentimental or cheesy, but I’ve met some of the most amazing, talented and dedicated members of the Mills community here – many of which have become my favorite people in the world.

As I step down from my position as Chief News Editor, I am both saddened and excited. It’s difficult to leave such a magical world of late nights, over-caffeination and strict deadlines, but I am confident that the remaining staff members and new ones alike will continue to maintain the standard of excellence here at The Campanil.

 — Heather McDaniel