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Senior Farewell: Owen Mayer

Aidan Bearor

When I was a kid, I had several different dream jobs: race car driver, astronaut, actor, author, the list goes on and on. However, I never planned on majoring in journalism in college, nor did I think that I would ever come to enjoy it. 

When I began to apply to colleges and universities in high school, I decided that I would apply to schools with a journalism program, only because I believed that having a degree in journalism would give me more options for careers post-graduation than if I had declared as just an English major. I half-expected to enjoy the actual writing component of my journalism course work, however, I was not expecting to begin to enjoy the interviewing process, considering my tendency to come off as shy and introverted. 

I didn’t join The New Hampshire (TNH) until the spring semester of my junior year after having been asked to join the previous semester by the then Executive Editor, Max Scheinblum. I joined as a staff writer and I think by that point in time of being a student here at the University of New Hampshire (UNH), I finally had the confidence in my skills to apply them to something that truly mattered. I remember being incredibly nervous before my first staff meeting, and I was almost entirely convinced that they made the wrong choice in hiring me to be a staff writer. Lucky for me, all of the other writers and editors were very supportive in answering any questions I had. That being said, I would be remiss if I did not extend my thanks to the managing editor at the time, Melanie Matts. Mel’s genuine joy and excitement for journalism and TNH made me feel excited about going to meetings every Monday, and I am eternally grateful to her. 

Fast forward two semesters to February of this year, I was fortunate enough to accept the position of content editor. It was a huge leap for me, I went from a staff writer to being in charge of a small group of contributors in the span of just a year, and to that I have to thank Kaylin, Isabel and the rest of the editorial team for welcoming me into this position and answering any question I had. 

Now, I have to address the elephant in the room: the dissolution of the journalism department here at UNH. I find this decision to be not only unfortunate but incredibly disturbing. In a world and political climate where misinformation is running rampant on places like Facebook and a world where artificial intelligence is being released in a seemingly unregulated state, I find that journalism and reporting the news is more important than ever. Regardless of budgetary reasons or dwindling class sizes, the flagship university of the state of New Hampshire should be doing everything in its power to uphold one of the most important workforces in our country. That being said, this situation makes me incredibly proud to be a part of an organization like The New Hampshire, one that I think frightens our administrative leaders and members of the board. As journalists, our job isn’t just to report the daily news, but to hold our leaders accountable, and I believe that holding our leaders accountable is integral to maintaining a functioning society. 

Finally, as I enter the post-graduation world, I will cherish my short time here with TNH. Not just the opportunity to be published in an over 100-year-old publication, but also the connections I have fostered here. TNH is so special to me because discovering a group with so many individuals who are as (or more) passionate about something that you are is such a rare thing. And with that, I bid you all farewell. 

Live long and prosper, Wildcats.

-Owen Mayer

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Aidan Bearor, Staff Writer

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