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Mac’s final farewell to Inside NU

Thank you for an unforgettable year.

I grew up a Northwestern fan.

I’ve mentioned that more than a few times on this site, but I feel it’s important to bring up again. I grew up in Evanston, just about two blocks from Ryan Field and Welsh-Ryan Arena. Throughout my childhood, I idolized those who repped purple and white. Northwestern sports, as agonizing as they sometimes were, played a huge part in my life. It’s how I first came to know the university.

Then I got into Northwestern. I knew I wanted to major in journalism, so that’s what I did. At the activities fair my freshman year, I walked up to the Inside NU table, and I was met by some soon-to-be familiar faces (one of them being former co-Editor in Chief Eli Karp, who I’m sure you all know). I put my name down to show interest, and a week or so later, I wrote my first piece for the site. Two and a half years and 189 pieces later, here we are. It’s time to pass the site on to the next group of editors.

Dan, Ben and I are handing control over to the phenomenal Sarah Effress, who will serve as Inside NU’s next Editor in Chief. She’s done fantastic work for this site this year, and I’m extremely excited to see how she can take it to new heights over the next 12 months. She’ll be supported by Michael Barthelemy, the site’s first ever Director of Site Engagement, and Didi Jin, the site’s first ever Director of Operations. On top of that, she’ll be working with three uber-qualified managing editors in Gavin Dorsey, Iggy Dowling and Bradley Locker. I am extremely confident that these seven will be able to take Inside NU to even greener pastures.

With that being said, I have to be honest, this is a bittersweet moment for me. Covering any sort of sports team in college would’ve been a dream come true. Instead, I got to cover the programs that I’ve been watching since I was seven (maybe even earlier, I can’t remember entirely). Sure, we weren’t perfect, but we damn well tried. Sometimes I let my fandom get the best of me and my journalistic integrity was hampered. Sometimes I let a few biases leak through into my writing and tweeting. It happens. It was a learning experience, and I’m beyond grateful for it.

I didn’t originally expect to be a co-Editor in Chief last March. I didn’t feel like I had done enough to earn it, and initially, the title rightfully went to Dan. It wasn’t until a few months later that Ben and I were fully added to the mix, and I can’t speak for Ben, but I will admit that there was a learning curve. It took some practice. I am grateful for our readers, who stuck with us through a horrible football season and beyond. Without you all, the site really doesn’t operate. We’re all thankful for the comments and feedback you leave, even if they lead to spats with some other commenters. I hope we were able to provide you with some valuable insight on Northwestern sports.

Inside NU gave me a plethora of opportunities. From being able to cover a football at historic Wrigley Field, to visiting the Big House, to seeing men’s basketball secure a win in the Big Ten Tournament, it’s been an amazing ride. Sure, all of these trips may have ended in immense disappointment for the ‘Cats, but for me, they produced memories I’ll never forget. Is that selfish? Maybe. I want to thank everyone in the Northwestern Athletics Department who made our constant coverage of Northwestern sports possible. Their consistent communication with us was crucial in allowing Inside NU to operate to its fullest potential.

I would like to also thank our staffers. Every week when we sent out our budgets, they answered the call, with some even going so far as to pitch their own stories to us. Their contributions always led to impressive and entertaining content that kept the site chugging along. Without them, we simply would not have enough people to properly cover all of Northwestern sports.

Finally, I’d like to extend a thank you to my two co-editors in chief, Dan and Ben, as well as the two former co-EICs that came before us, Eli and Lia. The latter were always there for me when I had a question about the site and weren’t afraid to let us know when things weren’t up to the Inside NU standard, and I’m grateful for that. They taught me everything I need to know about this position.

To Dan and Ben, we produced a lot of great work, and we should be proud. You guys taught me a lot about how to work as a team. From eating donuts in Ann Arbor on an early fall morning to going 100 on the I-94 (is this illegal?) while cycling through various music albums, it’s been one hell of a ride.

To any and all of you who have helped or supported me along the way, thank you for making a dream of mine come true. I’m not too sure what my next steps are, but for now, I’m excited to be a fan again.