“So, Mahmoud, when you read this in the future, do a few things: 1. Don’t cringe at your writing skills or at the whole cheesy sentimental crap you wrote. 2. Just look back at the time you wrote this and remember, you grew. Keep doing it.”

That was the end of my first-ever editorial, and now I begin writing my last.

I’ve had very little time all year to really think back to the first time I began volunteering here as a naïve little photographer. Little did I know that my decision to take a step forward into photographing for this paper would lead to this point now, with me as the Editor-in-Chief. That’s the thing, every decision we ever make, connections we establish, hurdles and stresses we face, we never know what the hell will happen as a result.

This is an emotional time for me and my staff. I didn’t spend 6 years doing a job I hated or felt was a job. This was a passion that I hold so important in my life and was more absolutely ecstatic to have been a part of.

To my team. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you to every team that I have had the absolute pleasure of working with since my time as an associate photo editor. All of you have taken time to teach me, laugh with me, stress with me, and grow with me in ways that are unimaginable.

To Ali, Vanessa, Jessica, Paula, Yasmeen, Mahnoor, Alexa, Olivia, Lyndon, Mayank, and Adam, I know things weren’t what we hoped it to be, but you did it. We did it. Thank you for your patience with me. Each of you have come out different than when you began, and stronger. I wish I could have been there more for you, and have been a bigger part of your growth as journalists, but I am honoured to call you friends. Without you, the integrity and growth of this paper would not have happened. I hope you have learned and garnered an experience that you will cherish. I believe in every single one of you, I always did and always will. If there’s one thing I hope you have taken, it’s that I hope you appreciate and enjoyed the journalistic experience. Spread its importance, and embrace it.

From the moment I began my time here at The Medium, my goal has always been to leave any inch of an impact that I could on this campus. I don’t ask for compliments, or for you to tell me whether I did or not, but I sincerely hope that you remember this paper and remember my pledge to all of you. Whatever legacy I left here, take it and make it 400x better, for there is always a way to improve.

To Alicia, it’s been a long journey but 24 issues later we did it. I know how important journalism is to you, and I thank you for being a fabulous partner and friend. I am beyond grateful for you being so patient with me when I was in the midst of everything in my life and without your leadership alongside mine, I would not have been able to get through it all. You’re going to be a kick-ass editor, journalist, writer, and I am so proud of you for all that you have done so far and will do in the future.

Of course, I have to thank my family. They probably will never read this but hey, I have to give them a shout out. Mama & Baba, thank you for letting me take the car every weekend, and also questioning why the hell I was working so many hours every week for the paper – that always put things into perspective every time I had to repeat why this was so important to me. Adam, you absolutely saved me, and helped me when I just couldn’t do something, and for that I am thankful.

I began my years here with absolutely no idea what it meant to even be a journalist. They just asked tough questions right? Boy was I wrong.

My last thank you goes to you, the reader. Without you, we don’t exist. Without you, we don’t serve anyone.

Every volunteer or staff member of this journalist outlet works tirelessly here to serve your voice. We fought and will always fight for the truth. The Medium should hold a special place in your campus experience. The Voice of The University of Toronto Mississauga will never shout, but will always be here to spread knowledge, stories, experiences, and stay true to you.

Student journalism doesn’t exist. It will always be journalism, whether it’s here or at the highest level, journalism is an absolute necessity for the livelihood of knowledge. It is my hope that I was able to facilitate that for you.

If there’s one thing that I hope for everyone reading this to take away with them, it’s this: do not underestimate the power and importance journalism has on your life.

To future first years, and current students, pick up a paper, read, and engage. Whether it’s The Medium, The Varsity, The Underground, it doesn’t matter. We are all here to serve you and inform. Journalism will never die, it will always struggle but it will never be out of your lives. Journalists fight, and my staff at The Medium every year, day in and out have done just that.

I’ve had to go through so much change in life, and I’ve gotten to the point where I know how to embrace that. It is time for me to move on into my career and other places in my life and every ounce of me is anxious, nervous, afraid and excited. My time at The Medium will never be forgotten, and has brought me to a level of confidence unimaginable.

To the team next year, don’t stop fighting. Become one, and fight for the truth and information. Never back down, tell beautiful stories, and sad ones. Engage our audience. Be the journalist that you know this paper deserves.

Past Mahmoud, I will never cringe at the cheesy crap you wrote, for that crap was what got you here. You grew alright, you grew.

Thank you The Medium II Publications.

I’ll remain in the archive and pages of the aging paper for years to come, but The Medium will follow me wherever I go.

Whether you are coming back again next year, or coming back, never forget what you did here. You wrote your fricking hearts out.

As for me, I once said I photographed my heart out, but now, I just let my heart out.

See you UTM, grow forever, and seek the truth, always.

YOURS,

MAHMOUD SAROUJI

EDITOR IN CHIEF

2017-2019