The final newspaper edition followed by long, deep sobs in the editor's office. They were tears of sadness at leaving behind four years of hard work, fun and passion. But they were also tears of anger and disappointment at the way this place let me down by instilling idealistic yet completely unrealistic notions of journalism.
And then there was the post-production party, the pub crawl, the graduation parties with the kegs and the graduation parties with the great-grandmas. There was the display of articles, awards, certificates and press passes. And the congratulations cake of me marrying the First Amendment because at this point in my life, it's my greatest marriage prospect.
Then the graduation ceremony at the exact same arena where I graduated high school. But this time I was surviving on four hours of sleep and running a fever of 101, later to determined as a bad case of strep throat. I sat there in the aisle in a sweaty robe feeling dizzy and nauseated by the odor of my classmates, whose scent indicated they did a few jager bombs before affixing their cap. But all this was forgotten when I accepted my diploma from my very own father.
My sent e-mail folder from this time is filled with job applications, job advice, and clear confusion of whether I wanted to work on Capitol Hill or in a newsroom.
All was forgotten, though, when I hopped on a plane to Brazil the next day. Doped up with antibiotics and hallucination-inducing malaria medication (true story), I left the job search, the pub crawls, the 1 a.m. newspaper deadlines, the 4-hour/night sleep schedule, the papers, the finals, and the friendships behind.