The Daily Gamecock

Letter from the editor: Premature nostalgia sets in

It’s 2 a.m. Saturday morning and South Carolina plays Clemson in 10 hours. Of course, my last game as a student would be a noon game. I should be getting plenty of sleep to prepare for a morning of tailgating, but here I am writing this letter from the editor. I procrastinated writing it, like I did many other stories and assignments this year.

No one teaches you how to write these things in journalism classes. Honestly, part of the reason I’m writing it is to fill space in our 16-page paper. Like my first and only other letter from the editor where I just complained about being stressed out, I guess I’ll just be brutally honest about how I’m feeling about my upcoming graduation.

There’s only one week left of classes and I’m actually ... sad about it? In one week, I will no longer be a student at the University of South Carolina.

Over these past four years, when my family would ask me, “How’s college going?” I’d reply with something along the lines of “I’m miserable,” “I’m drowning in work” or with the exact number of days until I graduated. 

As of Monday, that number is only 14. 

OK, OK, my responses to my family might have been just a little dramatic. I was doing extremely fulfilling work and making memories with those around me while doing it. I started college with barely any friends and I’m leaving with a newsroom full of them.

Sophomore year, I joined The Daily Gamecock as an arts and culture writer. I covered weekly events and eventually had a solid amount of work to grow into various editor positions. 

Though my resume is now full of what I accomplished with student media, what I’ll remember most fondly can’t fit into bullet points on one page.

I’ll remember the fun stories we published, like CarolinaCard hand chip boy, or head-to-head columns on which style of barbecue is best. I’ll remember sending 31 reporters into Five Points to cover the nightlife scene from voices that aren’t always heard.

I’ll remember the times I was stretched as a leader. Our newsroom covered sensitive topics, which took a toll on everyone’s mental health, including mine. I’ll remember receiving pushback on several stories published, and standing by our decision to publish them.

I’ll remember getting the opportunity to remember the life of a student who died. I’ll remember telling stories that made a difference for the USC community.

What I might miss the most is getting to create these stories with a dedicated staff late Sunday nights in the newsroom ordering Hibachi House and listening to “You Make My Dreams” by Hall & Oates on repeat. The friends I have made here are irreplaceable, and The Daily Gamecock newsroom became my second home.

I have been anxiously waiting for my graduation countdown to hit zero, but as the number slowly dwindles, I’m filled with premature nostalgia.

I’m so thankful for everything I’ve learned from this newspaper and this university. 

Forever to thee,

Genna Contino

Editor-in-chief, The Daily Gamecock