DI Voices | Thank you for everything, Daily Illini


Photo courtesy of Noah Nelson

Senior columnist Noah Nelson showcases his graduation attire at The Daily Illini office. Noah expresses his gratitude for his time working for the paper.

By Noah Nelson, Senior Columnist

While at college, many students participate in extracurricular activities. This includes intramural sports, Greek life, student government, religious organizations, groups related to our major and so much more.

In the past four years, I’ve spent my fair share of time in various clubs on campus, including Block I, Orange Krush, Star Course Concert Committee and most importantly, The Daily Illini. The publication has changed my life for the better, and it wouldn’t have been possible without my experience at Quad Day freshman year.

In Fall 2018, a group of friends and I were somewhere in the midst of the madness that is Quad Day, an annual event on the Main Quad for students to explore all of the organizations on campus. I had one goal in mind: to find The Daily Illini’s booth.

I did so eventually, once I eased my way through a crowd the size of Woodstock. This led me to an informational meeting a week later and an ethics test soon after, which was the first step to cementing my name into Daily Illini history.

After completing the test, one of the editors at the time asked what section I would like to write for. I told her about my experience writing just a little bit of everything for my high school paper including columns.

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“Oh,” she said. “Would you like to write columns for us? We need more writers for the section. It’s great you have experience already, too.”

How could I refuse? The next thing I know, I’m sitting down with my first editor at the time discussing possible column topics. I mentioned my love for concerts and how they’re medicine for me; they cure most problems I have in life. He thought it was a great idea, and I wrote it sometime soon after our visit.

Before I knew it, my name was in print. Not just in any print, but in print of the student publication at the University. How cool was that? I knew this was the start of something new.

Flash forward four years later, two of which were during an ongoing pandemic, and I haven’t stopped writing for The Daily Illini. During this time, I’ve written well over 100 columns about campus life, University history, current events, pop culture and just about anything else.

In the past four years, I’ve met some of the most incredible writers in my life. We all share a passion for putting words onto paper and expressing our thoughts and feelings in the only way we know best.

I’ve grown as a writer because of my time at The Daily Illini. The publication has allowed me to write whatever I pleased and helped me make my mark at the University.

Most importantly, I’ve grown as a person. Because of The Daily Illini, I switched my majors from political science to journalism during my sophomore year. It has helped me discover my passion for writing and served as one of the many steps I’ll take during this hopefully outstanding writing career.

Thank you to every writer who’s ever worked with me, every editor who’s read my work, and most importantly, my five Opinions Editors in four years. 

Tyler, Lucas, Andrew, Nathan and Aparna, thank you for putting up with my writing all these years; you all have made me a better person and writer. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you all.

Lastly, thank you to every reader I’ve ever had. Thank you for clicking on my columns, reading a physical copy and complimenting this novice writer. You will never go unnoticed; the best is yet to come.

I don’t know what the future holds for this young writer, but I know one thing is for sure — I will never forget my time or my work with the publication. It’s been an honor and a dream come true.

Now I can say I’ve written for the same publication as Roger Ebert, Hugh Hefner and Gene Shalit. How about that?

Fellow Illini everywhere, thank you for letting me cement my time and words into University history. I wear my orange and blue with pride. I-L-L!

I love you all. Thank you.


Noah is a senior in Media.

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