Walking Back in The Campus’ Newsroom


The last time I walked into Kaweah 260, the Journalism lab, it was a regular Wednesday. I was the lead editor, and we had an editor meeting that day that went extremely well. I remember that day I had put my charger in my desk, all my notes were in their normal place, and I’m pretty sure I had snacks ready for the next day.

My next day’s classes had a two-hour gap in between them, so I spent most of that time in the lab working on stories. That day in March, almost like I knew; I remember looking back before I left the lab with the feeling in my gut that I was forgetting something. I just didn’t know that it would be two years later until I would be able to check.

After a much-needed semester break, I enrolled at COS again to finish up the units I needed to graduate, and one of those classes happened to be the newspaper course. Admittedly I was a bit apprehensive when I first signed up for the course. The last time I took this course I had worked all the way up to Editor in Chief, but only got to serve in that role for a few weeks before COVID-19 shut us down.

For me, it wasn’t even about not being the leader, it was more of the fact that I had wanted that role and worked my way towards it for so long, just for the moment to have passed me by. It only took me a couple of days to get over those feelings and sign up for the course anyway, taking the opportunity to focus on my writing instead of editing others’ work.

It started with the familiar elevator ride up. I had done this so much my last time on campus that it was routine to me, but this time I had no idea what to expect when I got up there. The view in front of the newsroom was the same, the balcony straight forward overlooks a mini-quad area below, and to the right, that balcony has a view of Mooney Boulevard.

Walking into the newsroom for the first time was surreal for me. Everything was almost exactly how we had left it minus the info we had scribbled onto the dry-erase board. Walking into a set of new faces, and a new instructor was nerve-racking.

It felt familiar and unfamiliar, I knew the location like the back of my hand, but everything had changed now. I felt so many emotions at that moment, but more than any just felt excited to get back to work, even though nothing was the same since I walked out of here in March of 2020.

Except for my charger, which was still on the desk where I had left it.