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By Gianna Rendon

SAN ANTONIO—This past year, I have been preparing myself to move on.

I was set to graduate spring 2015, but since my life has been OLLU for the past four years, I started doing things that would make the transition smoother, like slowly dropping out of involvement in extra curricular activites and making friends not from campus. So although I feel at peace with saying goodbye to OLLU, I was not prepared to say goodbye to the Lake Front.

I started at the Lake Front my first semester. I was a commuter without a car so before the Lake Front, I had nowhere to go until I was picked up. I would sit in Moye Rotunda and do homework. I didn’t really have friends on campus. And then an FYC mentor, Jordan Whitfield, showed me the Lake Front office behind the secret staircase on the 2nd floor of Main Building, and I haven’t left since.

The Lake Front taught me photography skills, writing for journalism and how to interview, but most importantly the Lake Front has also taught me about community.

The Lake Front has been my home. Professors and friends often check the office first if they need to find me because odds are I’m there. Even this semester when I took a break from being managing editor, I still was in the office every day.

One of my favorite memories involves taking a trip to Corpus Christi for a journalism convention. We were in the car and I was calling up sources and verifying information while Angelica edited the paper and was trying to beat deadline. Angelica was the Bernstein to my Woodward (she likes Bernstein more because of his hair). I loved freaking out on deadline with her, having a chip and salsa party when we procrastinated reaching sources, editing and complaining alongside her, planning events with her, and texting her too late at night while writing a story I didn’t want to write. I am going to miss our tea parties and our inside jokes. I am going to miss her pushing me to become a better writer and a better person. As she goes off to California to grad school, I want her to know that I am grateful that God has placed her in my life, if only for these four years.

My time at the Lake Front has been the most rewarding, challenging, soul stretching, hair pulling hand clapping, tear jerking experiences I have ever had. I will forever carry these experiences in my heart.

This month has been hardest of my college career. I wanted to give up so many times and just get on a one way train to Chicago, but I have had so many supportive friends and family (and friends who are family) and professors who pushed me and encouraged me to make it this far to crossing the stage.

I am graduating with a BA in Religious Studies and Journalism. In the fall I will attend Iliff School of Theology for a Master of Divinity. I plan on going into community activism. And although I plan on never working in journalism, being a student journalist has taught me the importance of people’s stories. I have learned that everyone has something to say and in my future I want to teach people how to make their voices heard. The Lake Front has instilled in me the importance and the moral imperative of asking questions, especially the tough ones. I promise to continue asking the tough questions no matter what my profession will be.

I am choosing to end my last piece in the Lake Front like the many others, with a quote in honor of the class of 2015.

“You might be poor, your shoes might be broken, but your mind is a palace.”– Frank McCourt

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