Editor's Note: Thank you!

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If you had asked me four years ago what I wanted to get out of college, I would have said something about class, research, friendships and parties.

Pretty standard stuff.

Yet these last four years have been anything but standard.

I never would have guessed that I would be the first to tell a mom that her son was in jail, see a man die next to Top Dog on a sunny May afternoon or help uncover an ASUC president who wanted to use student fees to pay his legal bill.

I've been swept up in the exuberance on the streets of Berkeley the night Obama was elected only to come back to the office and put the paper to bed.

I've seen the tree-sitters stare in disbelief as the trees that inspired their two years of resistance crashed to the ground while campus officials heaved sighs of relief.

I've had the thrill-as both a writer and an editor-of seeing students pore over the paper in their 8 a.m. class. Trust me, that never, ever gets old.

Of course, not every memory is a pleasant one: There was that time we didn't finish the paper until 5 a.m. Then the other time we didn't finish until 8 a.m. We've produced almost the entire paper on one laptop, with eight editors crowding around a single screen. We had to trash 10,000 papers because of a glaring and libelous mistake on the front page. Pay and publication were cut. The printers rarely work.

But along the way, I managed to pass all my classes and make long-lasting friendships with some of the smartest, funniest people I've ever met. These are friendships forged in late-night panics and the caffeine-filled haze of production. I will be lucky if I work with a group as competent ever again.

While I like to think that my experience is unique, I know that every graduating senior has gotten more than they expected from their time at Berkeley. Whether your "thing" was community service organizations, the Greek system, hardcore academics or the Daily Cal, we were challenged to rise to the occasion, whatever it was. Our readers' expectation of seeing the paper in the racks four days a week is only an amplification of the pressure every student faces on a regular basis.

Whether it was a daily or semesterly deadline, we've all learned how to perform under pressure ... eventually.

Last Friday I turned over the reins of the paper to Rajesh Srinivasan, someone who brings extraordinary dedication and enthusiasm to everything he does.

For the second year in a row, he and the other members of the staff have overcome low pay, limited resources and general frustration to win a record-breaking number of awards for their content. For those who are moving on, congratulations and thank you. For those that are staying, I expect even better work from you next year.

But four years (or in the case of Skyler, six) of stress, caffeine and blue books have taken their toll. It's time to enter the real world, where 9 a.m. isn't that early anymore and you can't wear your pajamas out of the house.

And I am sure almost all of us saw the sun rise over the Berkeley hills at least once.

My experiences at the Daily Cal have prepared me immensely for this transition. I learned more about myself on the sixth floor of Eshleman than I did in Wheeler or Barrows or Dwinelle. This has been an absolutely unforgettable four years, and I owe it all to the Daily Cal.

***

I owe thank-yous to:

My family, for their support and for understanding why I looked like hell every time I came home.

Stephanie, for her ruthless insistence on quality.

Allen, for his invaluable support and guidance during the last year's turbulence.

John, for his humor and realistic take on things.

Roushani, for putting up with hours of listening to me rant about the paper.

And lastly, and most importantly, the student editors of the Daily Cal for their extraordinary commitment to creating quality videos, podcasts, photos and, of course, articles. Working with you guys has been the best thing about college.

Well, that and a five-pound gummy bear named Simba.

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Move your hips like "yeah" with Will at [email protected]



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