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Laudani’s senior farewell column

Our job as writers is to tell other people’s stories. We spend our time concerning ourselves with everyone else but ourselves. It’s weird for us to talk about us. So with that being said, in my farewell column, I’m instead going to take this opportunity to extend my thanks to TNH for all of the tremendous things everyone here has done for me.
Right from the very first day I walked into a contributors meeting in September 2012, the TNH family immediately made me feel like I belonged. I was beyond intimidated at that meeting because I did not know if I had what it took to get published. I was an inexperienced writer and I feared that every single seasoned writer in that room would look at me, a freshman, and look the other way.
However, it turned out to be just the opposite. The staff and myself went around in a circle and answered silly icebreaker questions like “If you could be any animal, which would you be?” Right when I heard that, I started getting the feeling that the environment was far less intimidating than I made it out to be.
Nobody was too serious. When it came my turn to answer, I took a deep breath and said, “I would be a honey badger because I’m a boss.” I went out on a limb and said something stupid to see how they would react. And to my surprise, almost everybody laughed. Everyone was so welcoming and from that short, hour-long meeting, I could already tell that I wanted to be with TNH for all four of my years in Durham.
To go along with welcoming me as a person, TNH has also given me countless opportunities to contribute as a writer. Every time I wanted to write something, they had story ideas ready. And after I told the editors my sophomore year that I wanted to write more sports, they started sending me to games. Members of TNH staff have also always helped me work through any writing questions I’ve come across. It’s like I’ve been a part of a team for four years, and I never even played a team sport here.
I think everyone comes to college hoping they can be a part of a group of people that thinks like they do. I was very lucky to find a tight-knit group like TNH that shared my passion for telling stories with outstanding thoroughness and journalistic integrity, which is hard to come by these days. I had a place to voice my opinions about the good, bad and hilarious things the American media published on current events on a daily basis.
That was more than I could ask for.
TNH has helped me improve my writing and I am going to leave campus next spring worlds ahead of where I was freshman year. I thank TNH so much for giving me opportunities to write and continue to elevate my reporting and writing skills.
I also want to thank members of TNH, both past and present, for presenting me so many chances to cover UNH sports – something I wanted to do as soon as I decided to come here. I have covered every sport on campus at least a handful of times and got to experience the competitive spirit and fire this university’s teams play with.
That fire is what makes Durham a sports town. TNH encouraged me to witness that fire every single day, as I got to cover too many fantastic sports moments to count.
For that, I feel honored that this newspaper believed in my abilities as a writer and trusted me with the responsibility of covering such a significant part of the UNH community – our sports. I am very thankful to have been immersed in such a fantastic tradition of pride and excellence.
Thank you to all of you at TNH who have taught me so much, and I feel blessed to have been a part of such a tremendous group of people. UNH students are lucky to have this great newspaper, and I wish TNH nothing but the best going forward.

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