Many things have changed during my time at Georgetown: friends, classes, professors, living arrangements, jobs, internships — the list goes on. However, one thing in my life has been constant throughout my entire Georgetown experience: being a part of The Hoya, and specifically, a member of The Hoya’s sports section.
Looking back, I would love to be able to say that I knew The Hoya would be my home from the first day I joined, that it would be the source of some of my best friends and give me a feeling of true belonging at Georgetown. Unfortunately, I cannot. In fact, it took me all four years to finally realize how special The Hoya is to me.
My first two years as a staff writer were enjoyable, but predictable. Senior editors assigned me stories and I conducted the interviews, wrote the articles and sent them in an email from the comfort of my dorm. I barely knew anyone in the sports section, and anyone who I did recognize on The Hoya was coincidentally an acquaintance from another part of my Georgetown life — a class, club or dorm.
It was not until my junior year that I accepted a more involved role in the sports section. After being a writer for two years, I became a deputy editor, forever changing my experience with The Hoya. I was no longer sending stories from afar. Instead, I was actively working alongside other members of The Hoya, some of whom I had never crossed paths with until I sat next to them in Leavey 421.
There is a special bond that connects members of The Hoya; perhaps it is because of the hectic nature of the production office or the hilarious memories that people collect when working there. I think it is a little bit of both. The Hoya would not be The Hoya without the crazy, but it also would not be The Hoya without the fun.
As I reflect on my time here, I can say that there are few parts of my Georgetown experience I want to change. However, if I had to choose one thing I could change, it would be to become more involved with The Hoya earlier on. There is nothing wrong with sending in stories from across campus, of course. After this reflection, I’ll have written 93 stories for The Hoya, and a lot of those were completed during those first two years I was a writer.
But there is something special about being in Leavey 421 with fellow writers and editors. I will remember all those stories I wrote when looking back at my time on The Hoya, but I will remember much more than just a series of 750-word articles. I will remember the trips downstairs to Vital Vittles to buy sour candy, the game watches on laptops in the sports section of the office, laughs over the clip of “The Office” when Kevin spills the chili —  iconic — and an endless supply of BuzzFeed quizzes. I will remember an incredibly supportive group of people eager to help one another and produce the highest quality journalism possible. I will remember some of the best people I know at Georgetown.
I mentioned earlier that it took all four years for me to realize how special The Hoya  is to me, and this is why. I love journalism, and every time I saw my name as a byline in a Tuesday or Friday issue, I felt extremely proud and rewarded. However, the real reason why The Hoya is one of the most special parts of my Georgetown experience is simply the people.
The people with whom I have become friends by being on the newspaper are ones who will be in my life long after we graduate on May 20, and for that, I am very grateful. Together, we complained about Georgetown sports, scrambled to get interviews, got together to watch games, planned our own senior send-off event and teamed up for many nights of Tombs trivia. It’s sad that my four years at Georgetown are coming to an end, but I cannot help but be happy about what the future brings, because I know these people are the ones who are going to stick around.
SPORTS_MaddieMadeline Auerbach is a senior in the College and was deputy sports editor in fall 2015 and spring 2016 and a contributing editor in fall 2016 and spring 2017. She graduates Saturday.

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