How UA Became My Home Away From Home

A farewell from myself and other graduating University of Akron students at The Buchtelite.


Photo via Alyssa Alexsonshk

University of Akron campus.

By Mckenzie Uhrig, Arts & Entertainment Editor

years I have been able to dodge the frequently asked question, “why did you choose UA?” I never had the answer and for every person that asked I had a different answer. I listed different tangible aspects I loved about the university, Exchange Residence Hall, my bathroom in Quaker, the Rec Center, and Shrank South, just to name a few. 

With graduation coming up in December I have been reflecting more on my experiences. Now, I’ve come to realize that I chose UA not for its tangible offerings but for their intangible ones. 

The UA community works to empower and help its students and faculty throughout their time with the university and even graduation. This community mindset is what has kept me at UA throughout these years despite everything the world has thrown at me. I have met some of the most friendly, honest and trustworthy people during my time at the university. I expect many will be in my life for years to come. 

One part of my UA experience that will stay with me forever will be my time serving as The Buchtelie’s Arts & Entertainment Editor these past few semesters. Unfortunately, I will be leaving The Buchtelite after my graduation in December 2021. 

As a future fashion editor working in fashion journalism, the experience of writing multiple articles, conducting interviews and creating content has been invaluable in teaching me skills required in my career field. I will also be able to say I have published pieces that I can use in my portfolio in the future. 

Aside from the practical applications The Buchtelite has given, it provided me with a network of like-minded students who shared my love of writing and publishing. I loved working with my fellow students and our faculty advisor, Julie Cajigas, throughout my time with the paper. 

The Buchtelite’s Social Media Editor, Stephanie Fairchild, and Copy Editor, Ashleigh Kanengeiser, will also be leaving the paper at the end of this semester once they graduate. Both were heavily involved and valued members of the editorial team who credit the paper for giving them valuable skills and experiences that will help them be successful in their future endeavors. 

Fairchild stated, “I wasn’t very involved in organizations throughout high school or college, but I’ve always known I loved and was good at writing. Joining The Buchtelite was one of the highlights of my college experience and I’m sad to leave it behind. It helped me broaden my scope as a writer and taught me valuable skills, including social media management for my future career. Everyone I had the pleasure of working with was amazing, kind, and talented. And I owe a special thank you to our advisor, Julie, for believing in me and always pushing me when I needed it.” 

“I was a transfer student to UA in the fall of 2019. After doing well in my first semester, I wanted to get more involved on campus, make friends, and do something with words. I saw Stephanie post about The Buchtelite on her social media, and with a push from a friend I thought to myself, why not? Being a new copy editor and joining The Buchtelite during the COVID-19 pandemic was a particular challenge, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’ve loved gaining editing experience and learning from every article we’ve published over the last year. I only wish I had joined sooner,” said Kanengeiser. 

Fairchild and Kanengeiser perfectly capture how I imagine most members of The Buchtelite feel, including myself. My experience with the newspaper has put into perspective what the university offers its students. 

Now, after almost four years I feel like I’m finally ready to answer the question “why did you choose UA?” UA provides a community environment where everyone can find their group of people, while providing the necessary skills and experiences to become a thriving individual in their career. UA has offered me numerous skills and advantages I plan to implement in my work and career path. While the journey to graduation wasn’t necessarily an easy one, it was one that taught me more about who I am as a person, what I stand for and what I want out of life. 

I would like to thank everyone who has helped me get here to this point, my parents, sister, family, roommates and, of course, The Buchtelite team.