We have this spot on the ceiling of the newsroom.
It’s a collection of papers that carry messages from former writers, editors and photographers — all leaving a parting message for those whom come after them.
At the start of every semester, I’ve taken the time to lay on the newsroom floor and stare at each message.
Some make me emotional, seeing the friends I’ve made that have gone on to graduate, but others cause me to reflect on my time in the newsroom.
There are photos that take me back to staff hangouts, coloring pages that make me reminisce on our print editions and random objects that often make me wonder, “How did that even get here?”
But given recent events, I’ve been focusing more on what the newsroom means to me as a whole rather than the specific objects that inhabit it.
USC proposed a new student union to the board of trustees in January, with a possible timeline showing that reconstruction for Russell House could start by summer 2025.
Nothing is set in stone, but one model showed the potential student union being rebuilt from the ground up.
This means that the newsroom I have come to love and spent so much time in most likely wouldn’t exist as it does now.
And that thought terrifies me.
Sure, it will be relocated somewhere, but right now, it’s hard to imagine not having a place where I know some of my closest friends will be or a place where I find calmness amidst chaos.
I imagine this is how journalists across the world felt amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Not seeing the people you collaborate with and talk to daily, well, it makes you realize you should start appreciating the time you have together more.
No matter your role in the university, I’m sure some of you are feeling the same way.
It’s not that these places — whether it be a student union or a newsroom — are special to us because we just need a place to sit or to quickly grab a snack.
They’re meaningful because we recognize the human connections we’ll be able to form within them.
I don’t know what’s going to happen to the newsroom. And I can’t even say that I know what’s going to happen to the student union.
But what I do know is that in times of uncertainty, it’s important to cling to and appreciate what is familiar.
The newsroom is more than just four walls, a few tables and unlimited pieces of paper.
It exists every time I see one of our staffers off campus. It exists in random Slack messages. And it exists in every newsletter you receive from The Daily Gamecock in your inbox.
So just remember, as we enter this period where there are still many questions that need to be answered and decisions to be made, you will never lose those powerful relationships or memories you have created in the spaces you call home.
And you never know, it may even force you to forge new ones.
That’s the exciting part.