My parents met at Binghamton University. When I was in high school, they would tell me stories from their time at the University — going on late-night walks through the College-in-the-Woods living community, sledding on dining hall trays and getting drinks at the on-campus pub. As a freshman in the height of COVID-19, I would walk through College-in-the-Woods and retrace their steps, wondering if BU had the same experience in store for me. In the process, I’ve found a path that is uniquely my own.

I got my start as a freshman in Pipe Dream, editing for copy over Zoom. When Ciara, the editor-in-chief, selected me as copy desk chief, she showed me the Pipe Dream office for the first time since COVID-19. It looked like a ghost of the pre-pandemic era. I remember seeing the mahogany-colored desks and the green signs hanging from the ceiling and the still-dirty mugs leftover from when the whole world stopped. I remember seeing my future desk and wondering what my future at this paper would hold.

During my time in copy, I met some of the most amazing people — Jenna, Allison and Lia, who would go on to become an absolute powerhouse of an editor-in-chief this past year. Of course, I learned other things too. Running a section gave me leadership and organizational skills that I wholeheartedly believe gave me a leg up in all my subsequent employment endeavors.

At the end of my sophomore year, I stepped back from my leadership role in copy and decided to join arts & culture — a section I’d always admired yet didn’t have time to join while still in copy. During my junior year, I loved writing for arts & culture where I met Sam, Jamie and Eli — the coolest people at BU, and to whom I am eternally grateful.

When Sam, Eli and Jamie offered me the position of arts & culture editor, I couldn’t wait to get back in the office for lively production nights. Arts & culture this year has been everything I’ve hoped for and more. Working alongside Revati and Hudson has truly humbled me with their astounding leadership, writing skills and passion for this paper, and I’m so proud of all our hard work during our time at arts.

When I came to college, I was certain that a quintessential BU experience would include bitterly cold winters, milkshakes at Chenango Champlain Collegiate Center and trips to Boscov’s. I didn’t expect that I would grow so much. I didn’t expect I would learn how to foster healthy relationships, how to feel proud of pursuing a career in education, how to speak a little Mandarin, how to feel comfortable with my decisions and my own identity. I didn’t expect to find two distinctly beautiful communities with arts and copy, and I’m very grateful for all the friends I’ve made at Pipe Dream and BU.

To Revati and Hudson — you two are the best arts & culture team I ever could have asked for. I knew from our first few productions, with our New York Times Connections competitions and our “what cookie would you be” personality evaluations, that we would be a close friend group and a great team. You’re some of the smartest people and greatest writers I’ve ever met — I never could have done this without you. Revati, I know that you will do amazing things as arts editor next year, and I’m so excited to see what you achieve with Jaiden and Christina.

To Sam, Eli and Jamie — I want to thank you all for serving as great mentors, for believing in me and trusting me with the arts & culture section. You truly upheld what makes arts & culture so special. For that I am forever grateful.

To Lia — Your work as editor-in-chief is truly admirable, and I’m always in awe of your leadership and tenacity. During our time at Pipe Dream, we’ve become such great friends that sometimes it’s hard to remember that once, you were my contributor. I will always remember when Jenna and I were deciding who would become copy desk chief and we said without a doubt, “It’s going to be Lia.” I’ve been so grateful to work under your leadership these past two semesters, and I know that you and Brandon will do amazing things as managing editor and editor-in-chief next year.

To Allison — You’ve done great things with copy this year, and I trust that you’ll be amazing as digital editor next year. I wish you all the best in grad school.

To Jenna — Thank you for your enduring friendship, for being the only one deserving of the “Source???” award and the best assistant copy desk chief. I’ll always remember the great times we had laughing over typos and staring at Pipeline late into the night and all the memories we made together thereafter.

To Ciara — Thank you for believing in me. I look fondly upon our times editing late into the night and our chats while driving back to Mountainview. I truly got my start at Pipe Dream under your guidance, friendship and leadership, and that means the world to me.

Alexis Yang is a senior majoring in English and is Pipe Dream’s arts & culture editor. She was copy desk chief from 2021-22.

Views expressed in the opinions pages represent the opinions of the columnists. The only piece that represents the views of the Pipe Dream Editorial Board is the Staff Editorial.