Farewell to the Spud


Margaret Hoff, Editor-in-Chief

It is very odd to be writing a senior farewell as I have been out of school for over a month actually. In reality, I said goodbye to the halls and my classes weeks ago without even knowing it. This is definitely not the way I expected my senior year to go. All in all though, this year has still been good and I am looking forward to the future. 

The three years that I have written for the Spud are something that I do not regret, and that I may even miss. Every year the staff has been great, and we continuously have strong writers. I have been very grateful for what writing for the Spud has opened up for me as well. Through the Spud, I have been able to improve myself and learn many things. 

My first year in the Spud as a sophomore was odd, but great. I was not sure where I fit in with things but the dynamic in that class was unmatched. We always had fun while we wrote stories, and I built up some good skills over that year.  I started to write the movies stories this year, which I have always enjoyed writing. That year was also the first time I went to the Lincoln journalism conference. That was where the staff really got to know each other and we all actually became friends. Before that the classroom was kind of quiet, but afterward, the class was almost a little too comfortable. That year I also wrote a ridiculously long story on girl scout cookies that I still think is hilarious. Sadly, my sophomore year I did not make it to compete in the State Journalism Championships though.

The next year was strange as the seniors were gone, but this year I had an actual title. I was the “web editor.” Honestly though, I did not do that much with the website until this year. My junior year’s staff continued to have a great dynamic though and through the year we all got a little closer. I have plenty of great memories from this year, and we all had a lot of fun. I would say this is the year I started taking my writing a little more seriously though, and it paid off. I started writing longer and more developed stories. When it came time for them to announce the State Journalism competitors, I actually had made it in three categories. The first of those included our in-depth that we had done that year, which I made a cartoon for. We ended up getting seventh place and I was very happy. I also made it in for editorial cartooning, which I ended up placing sixth in. Finally, I had also made it into editorial writing. I placed second in this, making me a state runner-up. This made me feel very validated and made me want to really continue to succeed in journalism. The trip as a whole was great and I got to know my peers a bit better while we were in Norfolk as well. The night after we got home from the championships I wrote down a goal for the next year to go back to State Journalism and place first in a category. 

So, that brings me to this year, my final year writing for the Spud. This year has definitely been different. I got to be co-editor-in-chief alongside Thalia Gonzalez, which was great. This year had almost an all new staff though, besides us editors. It was strange at first since I really did not know any of them. As the year has gone on though I have seen all of them become great writers and editors. All of their stories are becoming much stronger and developed, and I am very proud of them for that. I am sure that they will all continue to improve and write some killer stories. I finally got to do a bit more with the website though and redesigned it with Shelbee Burke. This was a bit of a learning curve, but I am pretty happy with how it looks now. I was very busy this year with helping everyone learn different things though so I did not get to write quite as much as I thought I would. None-the-less, I did get to write things I enjoyed and I got to do a lot more designing. However, as you know, because of Corona we have not gotten the full year. Right before this happened though we were able to submit our pieces for the State Journalism Championships. This year was different since we could not go to actually compete, which I was a little sad about. Instead, they did a live stream of the awards on April 23, so I obviously tuned in. I was ecstatic when the first category, “Advertising,” popped up on the screen and I was the first name. I fulfilled my goal of being a State Champion, and I feel like that was a great wrap on this year. 

This year may have not gone exactly how I would have liked, but none-the-less it was great. I got to make what memories I could, and I achieved many goals I had set in the past. It is a bit odd that I will not be returning to write next year, but I know the underclassmen will do great and carry on. I am excited to continue my learning at Black Hills State University. I am planning on majoring in Studio Art, so I will not get to write as much anymore. Regardless, I know the things I have learned through the Spud will stick with me for a long time.