seniors

Copy Editor Victoria Lambton (left, front), Sports Editor Jayce Eustice, Digital Manager MacKenzie Meadows (left, back) and News Editor Jessie Kern look through old issues of the Northern Star Sunday in the Northern Star Office during their last day of work.

Jessie Kern | News Editor

It’s crazy to think after this week I will be writing the end of, arguably, my greatest chapter yet. Transferring to NIU, I wasn’t in the greatest headspace. The ground I found myself standing on was the furthest thing from firm, and I quickly learned things had to get worse before they could get better. Yet, in all of the “worseness” and uncertainty of my first year here, there was one constant: the Northern Star.

Like everyone else, I wasn’t sure how to do the whole college thing. While enduring the awkwardness of transfer orientation I found myself filling out a half-slip of paper for the university’s student-run paper; little did I know it would soon become my home and my family away from family.

As an English major, I applied to the Star because of my passion for writing, and for a while I thought I had no business posing as a journalist. It didn’t take long to realize I was right where I belonged.

It takes a certain kind of person to work at the Northern Star — to work the seemingly endless hours before retreating home and spending another three on homework. From late nights and early mornings, always forfeiting sleep to ensure the paper is as perfect as possible, to the extra hours spent in the office just to be with our people, it became my college experience.

The Northern Star became the guiding arrow for the direction I wanted to take my life.

I stretched my roots deep into its ground and absorbed as much from its soil as I possibly could, and I’m closer to the sun now. Not only did I relearn how to be the best version of myself, but it was here I was reminded reaching those heights was entirely attainable.

Our newsroom adviser Shelley Hendricks taught me to be a fearless and relentless journalist, and our beloved financial advisor Maria Krull showed me, time and time again, exactly the kind of person I want to be in this ugly world; most importantly, they taught me what kind of woman I hope to be.

I’m ready to turn the page now, and though all the words in the world cannot express what I’ve gotten from my time at the Northern Star, I know the proof is in my person.

Victoria Lambton | Copy Editor

Teacher. Businesswoman. Entrepreneur. Chef. And so on. For years, I grew up with this fascination of wanting to be and do everything. I challenged myself constantly, always in pursuit of finding the skills, hobbies and activities I was best at; yet, nothing ever stuck.

As high school graduation loomed nearer and nearer, I was still petrified with the idea of not having a college major chosen and an exact life path measured. “You’ll be fine,” “You still have a year or two to decide” and “Lots of people in college don’t know what they want to do” are the words people would tell me to reassure my worries; yet, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had to pick something, anything.

Now, as my time here at NIU ends, I’ve picked something. I found my niche and gained so many incredible skills and pockets of knowledge that I couldn’t possibly find anywhere else.

I feel so grateful for all the experiences and memories I’ve made, including working at the Star. This place has helped guide me toward the career I hope to have post-graduation.

So what if I started college with absolutely no clue as to what I wanted to do? Sure, it took me two years, three switches in my major and my role as a copy editor to realize the line of work I want to follow in the future, but I wouldn’t change that experience for anything.

I can proudly and happily graduate college with the ambition to pursue an editorial career in editing and publishing.

The future may not be an easy road for me, but I know my college experience and the work I have done as a copy editor will prepare me for whatever comes next.

With graduation in less than a week, I want to thank everyone who has been so kind and gracious toward me throughout my time at NIU — from my parents to my friends to all of the lovely editors, staff and advisers I have met and bonded with at the Star: Thank you for such an exciting ride, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Jayce Eustice | Sports Editor

After four years at NIU and three semesters at the Northern Star my time in DeKalb is coming to an end.

I came here as a unmotivated business student who didn’t know what he wanted to do for a living, but through some trials and lots of error, I have discovered what I believe I am truly meant to do.

Switching to journalism was the best decision I have ever made. Going into the spring semester of my junior year, I applied to the Northern Star, not expecting a response. Surprisingly, I was offered the chance to begin my sports-writing career.

Before my first interview, I was scared senseless to talk to NIU Track and Field Head Coach Connie Teaberry. After stumbling through multiple interviews and tripping over my own words, I found a sense of confidence.

I became obsessed with improving my writing and making sure I was covering the team to the best of my ability. Fast forward two semesters, and I saw an opportunity to apply for the sports editor position.

After talking myself into applying, I was surprised to be offered the position.

During my time as sports editor, I have learned so much about journalism­ ­— more than any class has taught me. I have seen breaking stories, controversial columns and countless meetings, but most importantly, I have gotten to work with some of the most talented and passionate people in our field.

In my time at the Star, I was given the opportunity to cover a Mid-American Conference Championship, manage a team of amazing writers and co-found a podcast I hope will be carried on far after I leave NIU.

I will not be exiting NIU the same person I was coming in, and I couldn’t be happier.

I leave behind an incredible Northern Star staff with bright futures as well as the many professors, advisers and friends that have helped instill confidence in this once-lost college student.

For everyone who inspired me to pursue my dreams, whether you know it or not, I’d just like to say thank you. Hopefully, this is just the beginning.

MacKenzie Meadows | Digital Manager 

It’s been four years since I walked into the Northern Star office, and for four years I have had an endless amount of pride for what these students have accomplished.

If you have never seen how a student-run newspaper operates, it can be described simply as magic. Everyone has a place, and we all work so fluidly together like a well-oiled machine.

Seeing a group of young adults so passionate about something and seeing like-minded people put everything into every word they write will make you look at this profession with a new set of eyes.

I called the perspective section home for three semesters. I had the privilege of working under three different editors, learning different styles and chasing after the opinions of those whose voices are sometimes not heard.

Journalism is giving a voice to the voiceless; it’s giving society the truth, even when the truth seems impossible to find. After working for the perspective section I headed in the digital direction for the duration of my employment with the Star. From digital editor to digital manager, it has been amazing to oversee all the online content and make sure all the social media platforms are providing the truth for past, present and future Huskies.

I have written for the Northern Star since I was a sophomore, and I owe so much to this amazing organization. Being able to see myself and my amazing colleagues follow our passions has been so rewarding.

It’s the most special feeling to know I have been apart of laying down my history and leaving my legacy right here, on this very page forever.