By Nathan Shoup, Sports Editor

It’s already that time. The time I get to look back on my four years of college and my two working at The Mooring Mast.

With this being the last issue of the year in preparation for finals and graduation, it is time to reminisce. Cue the sappy graduation song. I am not going to quote any of them — I promise.

When I was named the sports editor last spring after working as a reporter the year before, I was ecstatic. One year away from graduating, I would finally have something on my resume that would stick out. And I was going to make a couple bucks doing something I actually enjoyed — writing.

However, I was conflicted. Outside of writing, I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t know how I was going to fill four or five pages with content every week, and I didn’t know how I was going to make time for it all with my already-booked senior schedule.

As nervous as I was, I figured it out.

In the first issue of the year, I wrote an article naming the best and worst-case scenarios for fall sports. I didn’t think that much of it. It was a simple light-hearted column.

As I pondered a title for the piece, one of our advisers to the paper, Art Land, suggested I name the piece “Shoup Shots.” Eight months later, I’m writing the final of 20 Shoup Shots.

I added Shoup Shots to the paper hoping to add a voice to a section of the paper that I felt was lacking one. I did it for you.

But with the intention of doing it for you, I may have helped myself the most. This section of the paper helped me discover my voice — a necessity for any writer. I still have plenty to learn, but Shoup Shots was certainly a kick-starter. It is one of my proudest accomplishments.

To the countless number of people who said they pick up the paper every week and flip to Shoup Shots first — thank you.

To the people who went out of their way this year to say they particularly enjoyed a particular piece — thank you.

To the entire Mooring Mast staff that put up with my antics over the year and helped me grow as a writer — thank you.

As this chapter in my life closes, I think it is appropriate there will be some parts I’ll miss and others I won’t.

I am not going to miss walking out of the office at 3 a.m. or later on Thursday mornings. There was a night this spring I did not leave the office until 6:30 a.m. before starting work at another job at 7 a.m. I took a nap on the floor with a newspaper on my face that night. The next day wasn’t my brightest.

And to put that in perspective, I usually competed with Kelsey Hilmes, the arts and entertainment editor, to be the first one out of the office.

The editorial board as a whole knows the majority of the English dictionary, but we don’t know “sleep” — at least not on Wednesday nights.

We do it because we love it. At least that’s what we told ourselves.

Our editor-in-chief, Jessica Trondsen, brought in sweets of some sort every week, and I loved it — probably too much. I’m going to miss the sugary goodness, but I’m not going to miss the feeling of walking out of the office with a 20-cookie gut bomb.

But I am certainly going to miss the people and memories made.

Coming onto the editorial board staff last spring, I didn’t know any of the editors. I had seen them around campus and at staff meetings, but I don’t think I had ever spoken with them beforehand.

I can now call all of them my friends.

I am going to miss playing the role of office D.J. For those in-between Pandora stations, check out the Macklemore and Matchbox Twenty station. You’re welcome.

I am going to miss competing with Nick Dawson and the athletic information office to be the first to get tweets out. At basketball games in particular this winter I made it a point to be the first to tweet updates.

“I’m kicking your butt on twitter,” I told Dawson at one of the games.

In reality I was tweeting about 45 seconds before the athletic information office, but that was good enough for me.

I have nearly 700 fewer followers, however, so unfortunately I don’t get the last laugh.

Mostly though, I think I’m going to miss that feeling walking past someone on campus and seeing they are reading my article. It brings this work full circle. It brings validity to what the entire staff and I have done.

Typing away in my small, off-campus room, it has been special for me to know that you will take the time out of your day to read what I wrote. So to you — yes you — thank you. You make this work worth it.

Years from now when I am reflecting on my time at Pacific Lutheran, my experiences at The Mooring Mast will be one of the first to come to mind. I am prepared for a career in journalism because of my time here.

As for the immediate future, I am going to enjoy going to bed at a reasonable time on Wednesday nights in preparation for graduation in three weeks.

I’ve been at this school for four years but it doesn’t feel like it’s been that long.

It’s already that time.

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