I’ve always thought that I would probably hold some sort of record for the student to get involved with the Express the earliest into their time in UCC, if such a weirdly niche accolade were to ever exist. My involvement with the Express quite literally dates back to my Orientation Day in first year, when I first met current Byline Editor and certified greatest woman alive, Ciara Dinneen. By some impossible stroke of luck, Ciara was my first-year Peer Support leader. While she guided our flock of green Freshers around on our campus tour, she made some offhanded comment about The Express and Student Journalism – and that’s where it all started for me.
I’ve been involved with the Express ever since, moving from working alongside Ciara as her Deputy Features Editor in first year, to somehow getting my hands on the big job this year. It hasn’t been easy – coming up with enough words to fill a six-page section fortnightly hardly would be – but it’s absolutely true when they say that the best things in life never are.
I’d be fooling myself not to admit that this year’s goodbye isn’t, quite plainly and simply, a sad one. Some massive figures in UCC Student Media – and, incidentally, some of my closest and dearest friends – namely Cailean Coffey, Lucas Brun of Motley & Ciara Dinneen herself are all leaving their time in UCC behind. I may not know much, but what I do know is that the three of them are moving on to bigger and better things than I should even bother trying to unravel in this little Editorial.
While the end of this year is undoubtedly marked with sadness, it must be said that the future is anything but bleak. The recent passing of the Capitation Referendum is an indescribably massive deal for UCC Student Media, and while I won’t get to witness the immediate effects first-hand (I’m off to study abroad in Toronto for the next year. Yurt), I can only imagine the vast improvements in the quality of Student Media that will ensue as a result.
This Editorial wouldn’t quite be complete without giving a deeply deserved mention to outgoing Deputy Features Editor Róisin O’Donnell. I had the honour of working on the Features section alongside Róisin for the past few months, and I can say hand-on-heart that, in that short time, she put together some of the most well-written, powerful and downright gripping Features that the Express has published all year. Thank you, Róisin – keep on fighting that writer’s block, and never doubt your talent.
Well, that’s all from me for another year. No doubt you’ll be seeing my name crop up once or twice in next year’s Express, crafting notion-fuelled Features from a coffee shop in Downtown Toronto. If you’ve ever taken time out of your day to read one of my silly little articles, I offer my final thanks to you. You, dear reader, are what makes all of this worthwhile.