I have always been a bad writer. When I was in middle school, I remember a teacher telling me that my essays were too short, composed primarily of quotes and broken up into far too many paragraphs.

Instead of fixing those mistakes, I found a place where they are not only accepted, but encouraged.

Writing for a newspaper was never how college was supposed to go. As it happened, I got advice my freshman year from some idiot who lived in my hall that if you go to every GIM for the first two weeks of school, you won’t have to pay for any food.

The results were mixed: In my first two weeks of school, my nutrition (shoutout to Nirchi’s) was so bad that I fell asleep in nearly every class. However, I also got involved in several great organizations, including Pipe Dream.

Even though I was pretty obviously not a great writer, they took me on as a contributor. The test to get in isn’t hard — you just need to put forth the effort, ask good questions and be on time.

It is that reassuring attitude, which emphasizes that we are all here to learn, along with the culture of mentorship, that is why I like it here so much. We are in it together, passing down advice from news editor to assistant to writer probably since the 40s, with no interruption from faculty advisers or so-called ‘professionals who know what they are talking about.’

I can’t really think of a great way to do shout-outs, so I’ll start out with UUW-B03. This room, even after being gutted and improved by Rohit and Mike, has been my refuge for the year. Sleeping on the couches and rolling around on newspaper racks made campus feel kind of like home.

To Alex, Gabby, Pelle and all the ghosts of news editors past, thanks for teaching me how to be an editor. You all have a significantly better grasp of the English language than me, and being around you has made me smarter.

Thanks to Chick-N-Bap, the BU administration, Sodexo (sorry, Campus Dining Services) and various protest groups for giving me interesting stories to cover. I’ve had the pleasure of writing positive and negative things about all of you, and what would a college campus be without the occasional controversy?

Rohit, thanks for always being down for the bit, even when it involves driving all the way to New Hampshire for beer or buying a MAGA hat. Gabby, please wear the hat, you look almost as good as Pelle in it.

Michelle, I’m sorry for killing so many plants in the office this year. Please do a better job than I did of taking care of them. Don’t let Orla anywhere near them and please continue to troll Henry’s life for me.

Jeff, I appreciate all you’ve done leading this paper. Sometimes I think you’re the only level head in a sea full of crazy people.

Odeya, as you always say, let’s keep being friends, for real. You’re the queen of the cool girls.

Alana, thank you for stepping up to be our first-ever real digital editor. I know you’ll make something great out of it. You and Noah are going to make this paper digital first, or something like that.

Working with people who I both respect and enjoy being around has been the best part of this experience. Some of you seem like, I don’t know, maybe you could even go to Harvard or something.

I’ll always remember this job/club/hobby/liberal-fake-news-rag, and I’ll always be thankful for it.

Brendan Zarkower is a senior majoring in business administration.