Love you, bye

Published by Kaitlyn Shope, Date: May 2, 2024

During winter break my sophomore year, I received an email from Dr. Fleming that asked if I wanted to apply for an advertising manager role at The Rocket. The first thing I thought was, “What is that?” 

After learning that it is the university’s newspaper and that I would be co-managers with my dear friend Bailey, I could not say no, and I am so glad I did not. 

I will admit that my relationship with The Rocket was a slow burn. In a room full of editors, I felt that I could never have the same connection to my peers as those who were tied to the stories. At the time, I knew my job was essential to keep the paper afloat, but I did not truly feel I was an asset to the staff. 

The more I grew to know myself and the more I broke away from my imposter syndrome, the more I felt deserving of my job. When I look back and reflect on different versions of Katie sitting at my desk, I realize how much I have grown as a person and how much I have accomplished during my time here.

The Rocket has watched me discover who I am over the last two and a half years. If you do not think that is a lot of time, have a conversation with anyone who knew me when the front two pieces of my hair were dyed platinum blonde. 

Fast forward to today: I have sold over $9,000 in ads, designed a handful of them, contributed my random thoughts to the opinion section, won an honorable mention from the Society of Collegiate Journalists for helping produce a multimedia story and learned that I might be a journalist like my peers after all. 

I could fill up this entire paper if I wrote about all of my college experiences that have impacted me, so I will just stick to The Rocket for now and thank every single one of you who have picked up the paper and read one of my silly stories.

Now, it is time for the part of my goodbye where every community member will stop reading and every staff member will search for their name. 

Dr. Fleming, it is inspiring to have such a strong and successful woman advising The Rocket. Whether it be academic, career or personal advice, I can always count on your honesty and passion with every insight. I also love learning fun facts about your hobbies and lived experiences, the newest one being that you forage mushrooms?? That is so fun. Everyone on staff is immensely lucky to have you in their corner. 

Sarah, I am so grateful for your friendship and empathy as a leader. I can always count on your blunt honesty when you know I need it, living room floor time for creative inspiration, and lots of laughs. Keep listening to your gut and every little thing is going to be alright. Most of all, thank you for Neck Deep and burritos. 

James, I admire how you are not afraid to go after a story. You will call anyone and maybe even go knock on their door if it means getting information out into the community. Beyond the stories, you are always willing to go out of your way for your friends, even if that means picking them up from the airport at midnight on a Sunday. Thank you for your kindness. I expect an invite to your documentary premieres. 

Hayden, thank you for all of the conversations and pictures of your dog this semester. I have also never seen anyone handle a pigeon pooping on their food with such grace. In between the unfortunate events in NYC, I learned what inspires you to be a journalist and some awesome story ideas you have. I am excited to see the work you put out next year. 

Aidan, you are one of the most genuine and kind humans I know. I may not understand most of the things you talk about in the sports world, but it is still clear to me that you care about your work and are an extremely talented writer and section editor. Thank you for always saying hi and checking in. I am so excited to see the awesome things you do in your future. 

Alex, I wish we would have gotten to cross paths more, but from our brief interactions and how highly our peers speak about you, I know you put a lot of thought and care into your work and I look forward to seeing where that hard work takes you. 

Teiko, I am grateful our paths have crossed. I can always count on you for a genuine conversation, and I have learned a lot from you. I am inspired by your strength and the way you carry yourself even when life is not always on your side. Also, the joy you radiate when showing me a video you are editing makes my day. Keep making sick content. 

Annabelle, when you commented “me when I’m on the newspaper” on many of my Instagram posts before I ever met you, I knew we were going to be friends. I will miss your out of pocket jokes that make me crack up every time. I am lucky to have such a caring and understanding friend like you. Please continue to keep me updated on all of the lore. Keep writing amazing stories. You are going to kill it in Philly this summer! 

Kayla, you are such a pure soul. It has been so heartwarming to watch you grow and find your place within The Rocket. Never doubt yourself. You have great ideas, write awesome stories and treat everyone with kindness, which does not go unnoticed. 

Soph, I am so proud of you. When I met you as one of my honors college mentees, I knew you were awesome, but I could never have predicted the amount you would have accomplished over the past two years. I am so happy to have worked with you not only at The Rocket, but also with Girlies on Air and RockOUT. You are so creative and caring, and I know you are only going to keep kicking ass. 

Cassie, it has been really fun getting to know you this semester. I will miss seeing your fun ‘fits and our little conversations in the office. I know you are going to produce impactful work wherever you go. 

Eddie, this year I was lucky to get to know you beyond the tough bro exterior. Your passion for photography and The Rocket shows in everything you do. You are already so talented, and I cannot wait to see how much more you grow. Also, if you ever want to go to the climbing gym, I will be there. 

Katie, you helped me get over that weird feeling of calling someone else my own name, so thank you for that. Also, thank you for listening to the podcast and always being down for a girly chit chat. You are such a kind soul.

Last but not least, Bailey, I am so grateful to have had you as my partner in crime throughout so many projects the past three years. I am constantly impressed and inspired by your work ethic and outlook on life. As my final days of college are approaching, sometimes I wish we could just have a few more days of sharing the desk in The Rocket office while figuring out our lives and laughing every step of the way. Keep being the most silly girl in the world. 

I hope I will be remembered by my words about girl dinner, gay Elsa and Glee and not by these sappy ooshy gooshy ones I wrote to the staff.

Okay, love you bye <3

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Katie is a senior Strategic Communication and Media major with a concentration in Advertising and a minor in Art. This is her third year working for The Rocket. In her free time, she enjoys rock climbing and going to concerts. She is also the President of RockOUT and AdFed and a member of the honors college. Katie looks forward to gaining experience in the work field and building relationships with clients.


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