By Courtney Fowler, Editor-in-Chief  

Editor-in-Chief of The Farmington Flyer Courtney Fowler (Photo by Lindsay Mower)

Editor-in-Chief of The Farmington Flyer Courtney Fowler (Photo by Lindsay Mower)

As I sat down to write this letter, with the warm morning sun pouring through my window and the aroma of freshly brewed coffee lingering in the next room, I thought for certain that it would be a simple task. I assumed I would share my semester-long editorial experience with all of our dedicated readers and then thoughtfully end with a sappy quote about how The Flyer impacted my time at UMF. Though undoubtedly true, The Flyer provided me with more opportunities than just editing, and it is those experiences that should be shared with all of you.

Nearly two years ago, as a timid sophomore who had recently transferred to UMF, I was in desperate need of an English credit to fulfill my final humanities general education requirement. I signed up to take ENG213 – journalism. Though I enjoyed writing, I had an even deeper love for Cosmopolitan magazine and current events, and in my mind, that was journalism.

What I didn’t expect from the course (and initially dreaded upon first talk of it) was the investigative interviews I would soon conduct and the numerous campus activities I would attend in order to write successful, intriguing stories.

The funny thing about journalism is that it has a way of forcing you to be involved with certain events and issues on campus that you may have completely avoided otherwise.

Let’s be honest; we all have our favorite clubs we like to attend, certain sports teams we like cheering for just a little bit more than others, and topics on campus that we enjoy discussing and engaging in on a higher level. Two years ago, you would’ve never found me at a visiting writer’s event or roundtable discussion, but now, I believe they are two of the most intriguing events featured on campus.

What’s truly fascinating is how far journalism pushed me outside my comfort zone, yet simultaneously diversified and enriched my experience at UMF to a level I never expected. A simple English course quickly evolved into countless opportunities to meet fellow students, gain knowledge about unfamiliar topics, and become involved and engaged in both the UMF and Farmington communities.

Today, I can confidently say that working closely with The Flyer (and our amazing, talented staff) has been one of the most influential experiences during my time at UMF. And though I know it still tends to be on the sappy side once in awhile, it’s safe to say that my passion for writing has surpassed the simple Cosmopolitan articles and sassy blog posts that previously captured my attention.

In fact, my love for journalism even brought me to the other side of the country, as I recently traveled to Los Angeles to attend the 2016 Association of Writers & Writer’s Programs (AWP) Conference and Bookfair. With my fabulous peer writers by my side, I was able to further my skills in writing while making memories in the sunny hills of California.

Though no longer serving as Editor, I can hardly consider this a “farewell letter.” I am exceptionally grateful to still have one year left with The Flyer, and am quite certain that it will continue to provide me with new experiences and opportunities to stay involved. And when the time does come to leave UMF, no matter where my writing takes me, I now have the The Flyer to thank for not only my editorial knowledge, but for being the first newspaper to feature my writing.

With that, it is with a gracious heart that I thank all of you for continuing to read The Flyer. Though the free coffee and donuts that go alongside each new issue are irresistible, I know you would all still read our campus newspaper regardless. With an impressive editorial staff in place for next year, I can humbly step down knowing The Flyer will most certainly maintain its excellence for many years to come. So from me, it is not a farewell, but a see you soon UMF!