Writing about my personal experience over the last four years is simultaneously one of the easiest ways to fill a page and also one of the most difficult articles to produce.

It’s fairly easy because I happen to be the world’s foremost expert on my own life experience. I don’t have to rely on scholarly papers and my limited perception of controversial topics through the lens of media outlets, like usual.

Plus, who doesn’t love writing about themselves? Unless it’s a resume, of course.

However, attempting to distill my lessons from four years of college into a brief column is no small task. Narrowing the focus to my experiences working for The Daily Nebraskan does not help much either, but it is a task worth attempting.

If you couldn’t already tell from this introduction, this is my final column for The Daily Nebraskan after four years and more than 100 bylines. I plan to continue working in journalism going forward, but it’s doubtful you’ll see another published column of mine in the near future.

The Daily Nebraskan has given me countless opportunities to express myself and my ideas, and I would like to thank all of my editors and colleagues for making it a place worth contributing to each year.

I began my time with The Daily Nebraskan in August 2019 as an ambitious freshman ready to say yes to any opportunity he was presented with.

My first article was about Husker Pantry and Student Money Management moving to a new location, and as someone unfamiliar with most of campus, it took an embarrassingly long time to grasp the details. However, I’m thankful for The Daily Nebraskan news staff for starting me off in the right direction.

It turns out that writing multiple news articles each week while being a student-athlete in cross country and indoor and outdoor track was just a bit too ambitious. So after my first semester, I began writing opinion articles and working directly with the Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor, since there was no official opinion section at the time.

My very first opinion article — which was about cheaper alternatives to college textbooks — was not great to be honest. In fact, to this day it is the only published work of mine that has had a correction issued, and I hope it remains that way.

Since then, my experience — and the opinion section — has grown while my average paragraphs have gotten shorter.

I’ve had the opportunity to write extensively on some of the biggest issues of the time, including COVID-19, the Black Lives Matter movement, Critical Race Theory and national elections.

The Daily Nebraskan has also given me a place to focus on more niche political issues in Lincoln and Nebraska, such as funding for Wilderness Park, Nebraska constitutional amendments and Nebraska’s electoral vote allocation.

And if that’s just a little too political, I’ve also been given the chance to express my newfound appreciation for “The Office” and my loyalty to a football team that failed to achieve a winning record my entire time in college.

Those are just a few of the topics I’ve been able to cover. Given four more years, I’m sure the list would continue to grow.

However, all good things must come to an end, and it’s my time to finally get into the real world with a full-time job.

And in the real world, I will be thankful The Daily Nebraskan has helped me improve both my writing and my thinking.

One of the best ways to learn something is to do it consistently, and The Daily Nebraskan has given me an opportunity to do that nearly every week.

As an opinion writer, I have challenged myself to learn as much as I can about particular issues and attempt a well-thought-out response to the controversy of the day.

Those opinions have changed in a variety of directions over the last few years, and it is a bit alarming to remember that a treasure trove of my political opinions throughout college will now live on the internet forever.

And yet, I’m glad I took the chance to put myself out there and force myself to think and write.

If you’ve read any of my articles, I’m sure there are quite a few opinions of mine you strongly disagree with, and that’s quite alright with me. There are a few I now disagree with too.

But at the same time, I hope you have learned something from my work, even if it is just an interesting statistic or anecdote.

Most of all, for anyone who has read any of my articles, thank you for taking the time to consider my views. It has been an honor to write for the state’s largest student newspaper, and I am grateful for everyone who has been a part of my journey.

Of course, it wouldn’t be the end of a career at UNL without three special words, so here it goes:

Thank you all, and Go Big Red!

Brian Beach is a senior journalism major. Reach him at brianbeach@dailynebraskan.com.