The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

A bitter story with a sweet end

‘If she was leaving, it felt like breathing’
Photo by Mady Leick
This year has been a tropical storm of emotions.

You never know exactly what you’ll get when you come to college. 

As Taylor Swift said in her song “exile,” “We throw stones, never knowing what they mean, some to throw, some to make a diamond ring.”

Most people come here and meet their best friends in the first few weeks. Their roommates and the groups that follow become their support systems. They go out to eat with them and study in their rooms together, and go out with them, and support them through their hard times. They get to experience this first hand, together.

I had a bunch of rocks to throw.

I had a difficult time with my random roommate. She was different than me, and it was difficult to live with someone who put no effort into understanding me. There’s a lot of adjectives I could use, none that would be useful, but it was not a typical roommate situation. The worst crime she committed was purposefully ignoring me on my birthday. 

I had people, but most of my so-called “best friends” I made that first week of freshman year feel as distant as my high school memories, faded in the rearview. The fear of being alone when you are in a new world can truly impact you. 

I was clumsy at times, and I am in no way foreign to the term “messy.” Good thing that skeletons, being in the closet or elsewhere, have no impact on you.  

A lot of my freshman year was spent learning to be ok with being alone, something unexpected and foreign. I had to shift my focus and search for a while until I found a true purpose, on the first floor of Hibbard.

The Spectator has become an indescribable force in my life. After jokingly applying for the editorial board in December, I truly had no clue that I would be completely dissolved into its world. If you sat down to do the math, I probably spent more hours in The Spectator office than in my dorm room this year. 

I became Editor-in-Chief Maddie Kasper’s “minion” and the experience I gained was worth more than anything else I learned this year. Her expertise on this campus is beyond anything I’ll ever know, and her dedication to this group is insane. 

One time, she roped me into to staying in the office with her past 11 p.m. on a Thursday to redecorate the space. I made it very clear I couldn’t help her, but still ended up staying, because the late nights in the office will always be my favorites.

I can’t talk about the highs of this year without mentioning Willow Pawlich, who I dragged into the office. Whether it be wasting time in the Blugold Radio Studio, or wasting time in the Einstein Bros. Bagels’ line, Pawlisch is an indescribable force. Doing too much consistently, and managing to be the very best at it is a skill I hope to one day master as well as she has. 

My best moments on this campus come from the amazing people I have met, from my fellow Copy Editor Taylor Boggess talking privately with me following every single meeting or my friend Kaia, who stuck by me through some horrific, and now hilarious times. 

When I think of what I am going to miss most about this university, it’s the only people you’ll find on Lower Campus willingly late on a Tuesday night. The ones who push themselves too far consistently. The ones who deserve more funding (cough, cough) and love than they will ever get. 

I chose to transfer because of my first semester, and nothing will erase what happened then. Even though I believe I’m making the right decision, no one here is making it easy, at all. 

This is my final article for The Spectator, and it’s my 50th. Normally, celebrating a 50th is considered a golden jubilee, and it reminds me of when I was a Girl Scout. We had a song we’d sing about friendships: “Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other’s gold.”

And I’m going to hold on to the golden memories for as long as I can. I’m happy to leave this university on a sweet ending.

Leick can be reached at [email protected]

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