The Michigan Times

Senior Goodbye: Natalie Broda

Natalie Broda

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One room.

One small, cluttered, colorful, bright room. How can such a small space contain so many memories? I see myself at eighteen years old, walking into this office for the first time, completely unaware of the glorious future that awaited me. All of the people, experiences and lessons that would find their way into my life through the front door of The Michigan Times.

I have tried, more times than I would like to admit, to write that perfect, sentimental and witty senior goodbye that I always dreamed would find it’s way into your hands. And yet, after 126 editions, countless hours and priceless moments, I find myself unable to neatly sum up five years of struggle and victory. I came to this university in hopes that I would find a way to be someone in this world, and I have, but in these last moments we have together, I hardly think that’s the most important story I could tell you.

This is a love letter to you, UM-Flint, and an ode to all that you have given me.

To my faculty, thank you for being here of all places in the world. You taught me what it means to be a critical thinker—and while at first that word did make me cringe, I can say with pride now that it is one of the most important attributes that I could have ever acquired here. Thank you for opening my mind, especially to Professor Ernest Emenyonu, who gave me the confidence to study a subject matter that many tried to persuade me against. Thank you for showing me how to reach for opportunities, especially to Professors Donna Ullrich, Traci Currie, Heather Seipke and Sarah Rosaen, who always kept their doors and hearts open to myself and every other Communication student who needed guidance.

Thank you for believing in me, especially to our faculty advisor Scott Atkinson, who for the past three years has been a relentless cheerleader. I feel blessed to have had my own John Keating all this time—O’ Captain, my Captain.

To the amazing, fantastic, wonderful people I have worked with over the years, thank you for taking this ride with me. Our newspaper staff has never been just a student organization. We are a family, through and through, love, fights, laughter and all. You are the ones who have truly made this experience special. In forty-odd years when I am reminiscing about these fine days of our youth, it won’t be the late-nights I remember, or the stories we wrote and edited, the photos we fretted over—it will be your smiling faces that reflect back in the mirror of my memory. It will be your words of encouragement, your sparkling eyes so full of promise for the future, that resonates throughout the rest of my life. Thank you for every last drop of this beautiful rainstorm of friendship. I will never be able to repay you.

And lastly, to you, our readers.

Thank you for supporting student journalism. Thank you for all the inspiration. Thank you for telling us when we’ve done a story justice. Thank you for all the corrections and fact-checking. Thank you for answering my questions honestly. Thank you for caring about what we do. Thank you for reading the words I wrote.

Thank you for allowing me to have the best five years of my life.

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Senior Goodbye: Natalie Broda