August 17, 2018 | ° F

End of the road

Damn it.

I hate goodbye columns. For starters, they're stupid because no one actually wants to read them. Even I probably won't read this once it hits print, but I have been here for four years so I have some stupid sense of entitlement. Plus, Aleksi needs a column.

The other reason is that it actually means that I have to say goodbye. And I hate that.

When I signed up for on campus housing freshman year, I did not know that it would entail me living in an uncomfortable chair at The Daily Targum with 10-15 roommates that changed every February. People came and went over the past four years, but I was just here. 

It was hell. I worked horrible hours. I was stressed. I never went out, rarely went to parties and I lost weight. I can't even remember the amount of times that I vented some variation of how much I hated working and couldn't take it anymore.

But I'm still here. And I don't want to say goodbye.

It's sort of like what Morgan Freeman says in "The Shawshank Redemption," "These walls are funny. First you hate 'em, then you get used to 'em. Enough time passes, you get so you depend on them."

As many chances as I've had to leave over the past few years, I never did. Deep down, under all the frustration and the insomnia, I never really wanted to. I love this place too much. There, I said it.

It's one of the grand ironies of the universe I suppose. I never expected to be upset when I retired but I am. I have one day left at Targum, something I never could have even envisioned four years ago when I arrived here. I'm dreading the moment when I step out of those doors for good.

I have made some great friends, a handful of enemies and met a bunch of people that simply made my life better in one facet or another. There's been blood (I fell playing Wiffleball last week), sweat (the air conditioner barely worked) and tears.

It's been a great run.

So let's do this:

To Mr. Miller, Mr. J and Bill: I appreciate anyone who lets me write a near 50-inch story about a point guard then actually runs it. Or that lets me run four lacrosse stories in a week. The South Jersey contingent was well represented, and I enjoyed joking around with you all for the semester. Though I think we all know who really deserved the Targum Freshman of the Year award.

To Hernandez and Barto: You're the most fiery and athletic people that I know. Hernandez, feel free to call me if you need pointers about your next beat.

To Stein, Sam and KJ Philly: You took me under your wing when I was the Best ****ing Phillies Fan Ever and handed me the track beat. From Steining to Snooking to the Great War, it was like sitting on an atomic bomb waiting to go off. I'll always fondly remember our weekly bonfires during those stressful nights. Keep in touch. Uts a dine deak.

To Athletics Communications: Thanks for putting up with me over the past two years. Hasim, you're a legend in the history of Rutgers women's lacrosse SIDs. Don't tell Dustin I told you that.

To Alex "Prime Time" Restrepo: Geaux Tigers. Keep chopping.

To the coaches and athletes I've had the privilege of interviewing over the past two years: You guys were the best. Covering Rutgers sports was hands down my favorite experience here. I've never regretted a second of it.

To Greg, E.J. and the University Media Relations staff: I'm sorry that I defected over to the sports section, but I really do miss calling you all up and harassing you on a daily basis. You're all first rate. Thank you so much for the unending respect and patience that you showed myself and the staff when we deserved it — and more importantly when we did not.

To Ray, Jason and Vinny: It's been a great year. You all were the best trio of roommates I could have possibly asked for. Sorry about playing Prince too loudly. We rocked Cthulu so badly this semester — next up, Lampshade Man. 

As for the 142nd Editorial Board, thank you for reminding me just how much fun this newspaper can be. The energy that you rascals bring every day makes the office a great place to be in. For all the years that Targum took off of my life, you all definitely helped add some of them back. Don't stop having a good time. And watch out for the haters. They're going to be there, but you're better than them and I think you know that. 

I told myself I wasn't going to work here for more than a year. Then I told myself that I wasn't going to write some stupid, sappy goodbye column.

Congratulations Targum, you get the last laugh.

I guess, in the end, you always did.

Steven Williamson is a Rutgers College senior majoring in journalism and political science. Send your hate mail to swilliamson (-at-) while you can, because the e-mail address won't be there too much longer.

Steven Williamson

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