Letter to the senior staff


Gayatri Dhavala

You’ve made this year in journalism a year to remember. And for all of us underclassmen, you all have been a guiding light to follow: people who are patient listeners, exude confidence and have faith in us to succeed. We’ll truly miss every one of you.

Dear seniors,

While the past school year has been unconventional and fairly odd to say the least—from Gray’s computer glitching to arguing about whether we should let our family or 1,000 strangers die—the best part was getting to know you all. You’ve made this year in journalism a year to remember. And for all of us underclassmen, you all have been a guiding light to follow: people who are patient listeners, exude confidence and have faith in us to succeed. The truth that eight of our most helpful and lively staff members will leave in just a few days is certainly hard to accept. If the pandemic hasn’t made you cry already, we certainly will with this letter—or at least make you laugh of embarrassment. So grab a tissue and let us begin.

Catherine, our resident artist, head-smacker, In-Design overlord and incredibly kind human—thank you for everything. You always made time to talk to us about our day, gave us plethoras of advice about classes and constantly reminded us to take a chill pill. We’ll miss your exuberance and the way you jump up and down when you’re happy. Your passion for creating graphics is only matched by your quality articles and sassy, unexpected quips. Somehow, no matter how many times we annoyingly call your name over and over, you never fail to come to our rescue. We know your feisty and lovely spirit will make UVA light up with energy, and we hope you’ll keep smiling down in Charlottesville. 

Gray, you were the calm in the storm of all the chaos we brewed. Talking with you was always thought-provoking and entertaining, and your editing was always extremely clear and concise. Your warm presence and the unconditional faith that you had in us truly made us into more skilled writers. VTech will definitely be a better place with the unique skills and perspectives you bring to the table.

Shary, you never failed to make us think till our brains were fried about the weirdest life or death situations… and we’ll miss you for it. The patience you showed us, the level of fun you made breakout rooms and the way you took each of us in—especially the newer staff members—made us feel at home and loved. We honestly don’t know how we’ll continue without your constructive and encouraging notes on our articles. Although we’ve said this countless times, why are you so good at writing, Shary?! All of us want your skills, so just leave ‘em in room 228 before you go. We all know you’ll do just fine at Rice no matter what.

Gurpreet, your humor and wit are unparalleled. King of one-liners in the chat and arguments that never fail to spark controversy, you will be dearly missed by all of us. Even though you joined us later in the year, you made yourself known and heard, offering the most creative and out-of-the-box ideas. We were so thankful every time you provided staff with spot-on sources, and we know you’ll carry your bright and amiable spirit with you to aviation school.

Harum, we can all agree that there is not a sweeter, lovelier, more genuine person than you. There has never been a dull moment with you around. You’re such a kind and generous person, and not to mention, we’ve never seen you mad. You always leave a trail of happiness and gratitude wherever you go, and we hope you’ll continue to share the same positivity in your future experiences.

Ryan, there could not be a person more passionate and opinionated about sports than you. The mantle of sports articles you gladly took on brought the section to life, and we are so grateful for you. We hope you enjoyed our class as much as you love the NBA. Also, move out soon. Finn wants your room and he’s getting impatient. 

Sanyu, you always had such a chill and kind presence. We already know that you definitely will become the most talented actress, and we cannot wait for the world to also discover what amazing individual you are. Oh, could you also give us permission to share your articles when Netflix asks us for an interview in your documentary? We hope you’ll remember us when you get famous.

Thirtha, your optimism is like sunshine, encompassing every room (and virtual breakout group) that you enter. You have an amazing ability to captivate people when you speak—especially when you’re talking about anime. An expert collaborator and very friendly person to work with, you have boundless passion and always write thought-provoking articles that inspire us to write about what we’re passionate about—and we can never thank you enough.

Even though we weren’t able to enjoy each other’s physical presence throughout this school year, you all created new, pandemic-era traditions that we will make sure to keep—and the joy and determination you all brought, whether online or in room 228, we hope to continue. Each of you are incredibly intelligent, talented, creative and brimming with potential, so we are infinitely excited to see how you will find your place in the world that has just been opened up to you all. Even when you guys struggle during finals week, live it up at parties, or eat enough ramen and macaroni to last a lifetime, we hope that reminiscing about this class and all of us in it will bring a smile to your faces. 

With every graduation comes a time to bid adieu, but there is never a need to say goodbye to family. A simple “see you later” will suffice, and we will see you later, in a time when we can finally meet one another in-person to share and reflect on our sassy lilac-tinted memories with one another.

With love,

TPT underclassmen 💜