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The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Editor-in-Chief Angelina Padilla-Tompkins says goodbye

Editor-in-Chief Angelina Padilla-Tompkins looks over her shoulder beneath colorful trees in Santiago de Querétaro, Mexico. Padilla-Tompkins joined the Northern Star two years ago as an opinion columnist and will graduate from NIU on Saturday. (Courtesy of Thalia Padilla-Tompkins)

Dear reader,

Two years ago, I joined the Northern Star as an opinion columnist. My first piece was basically a look both ways on in-person vs. online classes. Today, I am signing off. 

My time at the Northern Star became a defining feature in not only my college career but my life. 

I learned what kind of work I want to do. I learned what success is to me. I found what pushes me to want to be better, to grow. 

I was surrounded by like-minded people who shared a passion for words and improvement. 

Don’t get me wrong, there were many sleepless nights, tense debates over edits and moments I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue, but through it all I was reminded of why I love it. 

I loved the feeling of being a part of something that felt bigger than myself. I loved the adrenaline rush of working on a deadline and dissecting my work through edits. 

I was able to write about a variety of topics from NIU housing’s poor conditions, women’s rights, the Hollywood Strike, climate change protests, explaining football for Swifties to the Grammys

My journey from columnist to senior columnist to opinion editor and now editor-in-chief was not one I walked alone. 

Thank you to my first editor, Summer Fitzgerald, for taking the chance to hire me and teach me the basics. 

Thank you to former written managing editor, Bridgette Fox, for challenging my ideas and taking time to go through edits together. 

Thank you to our advisor, Shelley Hendricks, for always being ready to listen when I needed to vent and for granting advice. 

Thank you to current written managing editor, Michael Mollsen, for always being ready for a bit of healthy competition. 

Thank you, Lucy Atkinson, for being the happiest, kindest person I know, a genuine ray of sunshine, even in the gloomy Midwest winters. 

To my fellow Northern Star graduates, I am honored to have been a part of your time at the Star, and I cannot wait to see what you accomplish next. 

Ten years from now, when I am – hopefully – a communications director near New Orleans, I will forever credit the Northern Star for getting me there. 

Angelina Padilla – Tompkins 


P.S. Oh, also, Gabby Crabtree, my fellow Swiftie in the office, I hope you keep that energy going. Never stop informing the office of the latest Taylor Swift news.

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