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viewpoint

The people who built me

| Friday, March 3, 2017

For one more day, I have an office in the basement of South Dining Hall with a breathtaking view of an interior hallway and a rather beat-up couch slumped against the wall.

There are yellowing newspapers taped up on display, press credentials tacked to the corkboard and a gently used “Play like a champion” poster hanging from the wall.

Just above my desk is the piece de resistance: the business cards of our last 20 or so editors-in-chief.

I managed to be The Observer’s 50th editor-in-chief. I inherited a legacy that, when I took over a year ago, seemed crushing, but that I now find incredibly comforting.

In our history of covering Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s, there have been so many incredible highs — resourceful reporting and excellent writing — and also a few lows that we would rather forget about, but are important all the same.

We’ve had both this year, too.

I rather naively and conceitedly thought when I took over that the success or failure of the paper this year was solely a reflection on myself. And to a certain extent that is true, especially when it came to the mistakes. But the successes, what we did well, are a testament to a lot more than just me.

What The Observer is, what we are, consists of 50 years worth of student journalists’ work, on which we build and sometimes take for granted.

So, unsurprisingly, I find I have a lot of people to thank today as I officially retire at the age of 22.

Primarily, I am thankful for the work of every editor who has come before me, particularly those who have offered their help in times of need and served as mentors to myself and the rest of staff. These are the people who have made me the person I am now — who told me, when I was a sophomore ready to quit and find something else to do with my time, that I should stay. Jack and Ann Marie, I hope you both understand how much of an impact you had on me when I was an underclassman.

I am grateful to my staff this year: You consistently impressed me with your dedication and the quality of your work over the past year, and I cannot adequately describe how proud I am of you.

I am beyond grateful to my family — biological and chosen — for listening to my complaints without judgment and with unwavering support. In particular, my roommates Anne, Mallory and Maria, who have become my chosen sisters and the most wonderful individuals I ever could have asked for.

And finally, that leaves Greg Hadley, my predecessor and best friend, without whom I would have been utterly lost this year.

So thank you to the people who have built me.

And best of luck to those to come.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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About Margaret Hynds

Margaret is a senior Political Science major and the former Editor-in-Chief of The Observer. She hails from Washington, D.C., and is a former Phox of Pangborn Hall. Follow Margaret on Twitter @MargaretHynds

Contact Margaret