Farewell to Flor-Ala, my loyal followers

So, as I type this, I’m trying to think of an adequate 450 words to describe my experience over three years with The Flor-Ala, and I really don’t think it can be done (refer to my shameless self-promotion at the end of this editorial). I had honestly planned on serving as the executive for another year and the decision really surprised me.

I actually had no back up plan. I have collected somewhere around 350 used soda cans that I should be able to turn in and provide enough income for five days, though. I cannot blame the Student Publications Board and complain about not being hired back.

I was offered another job, but I’ve always been an everything or nothing kind of guy (which can be attributed to my stubborn-beyond-belief nature). I really do appreciate the three years they allowed me to work at The Flor-Ala, though.

I’ve met some great people along the way–people that I probably would have never met had I not been with The Flor-Ala.

I’ve gotten to know Cory Hamilton over the course of this school year, and not everyone gets to say they’ve met the president. I had the opportunity to make a great friend in New York City last year on our annual conference trip. Kris Kirk, I’ve never given you a shout, so here it is.

I saw The Flor-Ala at one of its lowest possible points, and I’ve seen it steadily build to become relevant to students again. I’ve seen writers come to our meetings that never had anything published, and now they’ve been hired as editors. All of that is incredibly exciting. I’ve seen people pick up the paper and read it. My favorite thing has been the fact that the paper has had some personality to it.

Oftentimes, college newspapers forget who they’re trying to reach. Yeah, we’re training journalists, but a lot of our writers aren’t journalism majors. Heck, I’m not even a journalism major (Entertainment Industry, holla!). We’re trying to make you feel a part of what we do. I hope people will continue to write, no matter what their background or major.

I hope if you guys were able to meet me, you understood I’m passionate about what I do. When I first found out I wasn’t hired back, I was a little baffled. I felt like I had completely wasted my time. I was so close to finishing what I had started that I could taste the success. At least now I know how Greg Oden must feel.

I quickly realized that working here has been an incredible asset in every way possible. I have acquired the keen ability to write a paper faster than an Internet meme fades out of fashion.

I have honed my skills of weaving comparative humor and writing, and although I’m not a pro, I feel like I have come a long way. I would encourage everyone to at least try to write a few articles for the paper; it will definitely be worth your while.

For the ones of you out there that enjoyed my work, I have a few ways for you to continue following what I’m up to and what I’m ranting about. Follow me on Twitter @BenSkipworth, or read my personal blog at btskipworth.blogspot.com.