Eulogy for a Website

from Nick Suss

Aug. 29, 2016, 8:38 p.m.

Three years ago, I took my first true, non-introductory journalism class as a sophomore at the University of Georgia. On the first day of class, the professor went around the room asking all of the students what kind of things they liked to write. I was the last person to go by virtue of where I was sitting. When my turn came up, I said something dumb. But it was true.

"I like to write 10,000 word blog posts about sports," I said. "Sometimes I throw sitcom and movie references in there too. But yeah, that's what I like."

This was the peak of StoriesHouse. My most recent post before that class had gotten 2,000 views and just a couple weeks later, I would write something that almost doubled it. Back then, I thought this site was the real deal. And it was.

Over the last four years, I've grown a lot as a person. I think I've documented that pretty well here. But I think the biggest indicator of my growth over that time is how little I've written over the last year. You see, the sorts of things that I wanted to write about became too personal, and I knew that anyone I might be writing about would see what I wrote.

Back when I was posting on here every week, I didn't care who I made out to be the bad guy. Because, let's face it, I wasn't happy. My freshman and sophomore years of college were hard. Really hard. I felt like I had nobody, so everybody in my life became the butt of an inside joke on this little site that somehow grew to have a surprisingly large following. But then I got happier.

As time went on, I needed StoriesHouse less and less. Because let's strip the pretense here. I wasn't writing this for you guys. This was never about you. This was about me. This was about me and my neurotic need to convince people that what I was doing was dramatic and important and valid and right. I don't think I was being selfish. I just needed to vent, and the people I trusted the most were the furthest away.

But then I found new people to trust. It took me about 18 months longer than it should have, but I made friends. And at that point, StoriesHouse became the blog equivalent of the late seasons of the Big Bang Theory: It still exists. I still check in from time to time. But no one should pretend it's what it used to be.

So what's the point of this? Well, I'm glad you asked.

This is my eulogy for StoriesHouse. Today I pronounce it dead. Actually, hold on. Let me rephrase. Today I pronounce my involvement with StoriesHouse dead. StoriesHouse as I know it is dead.

When Hunter, Tyler, Tyler and I devised the blueprint for what StoriesHouse is, the plan for the site was for it to be a hub for stories about the college lifestyle. We wanted friends from colleges across the country to contribute and our ambition was that the site would grow into a platform where struggling college kids could read and draw inspiration, knowing there were others out there who were going through the same thing.

Well, I'm not in college anymore. As of a week ago, I'm actually an employed adult working a real person job. And you can call me a purist or you can say I'm foolish or you can point out that no one is actually reading this, but that's still what I want this place to be.

So I'm done posting here. The home of my 10,000 word blog posts about sports that included some sitcom and movie references will still be here. But I won't be posting anything anymore.

Hopefully there's a lonely college freshman somewhere who can relate to my earlier posts though. If you're that college freshman or you think you might know him or her, direct them my way. Because I don't want this site to sit here like a mosquito preserved in amber for me to revisit anytime I feel sad or bored. I want it to do for someone else and his or her friends what it did for me and mine.

Let's be honest. There's a good chance this doesn't happen. There's a good chance that StoriesHouse will go to a farm upstate where it can run around and be free with all the other websites of times past. But on the off-chance that someone wants it, I'll be the first in line to read.

If you're wondering where I'll be writing things, you'll still be able to find me. My professional work will be all over the place and my blog-style work will be at Suss-Pace Jam. That includes Yippee, Yippee and Dang It, Dang It, the next of which will come as scheduled this October/November. And I'll still be on Twitter and Facebook like always.

But StoriesHouse? The place where I was more me than anywhere else? The place where I was free to reference Almost Famous and ramble about my neuroses? This place is behind me. I don't need it like I used to. But I hope someone else does.

Four years later, all I can say is thank you to those of you who've read my content. StoriesHouse is and always will be my time capsule to who I was in college. I'll miss it. But it's not mine anymore. Maybe it was never even mine in the first place. Nevertheless, I'm moving on. So goodbye.

It's funny. For four years I've made so many promises about how I would write more often. And now as I make my last promise, I know this one will be the hardest to keep. But as Jim Morrison sang and Seth Rogen filmed, this is the end.

I leave you with my mantra. Yes it's a Cheers reference. Deal with it.

If anyone told me a week ago I'd be doing this, I'd have thought them insane. But then it occurred to me: Here I am, a student. Not just in the academic sense, but a student of life. And what better place is there in which to study life in all its many facets than here? People meet. They part. They rejoice. They suffer. And they come here to be with their kind.

So what'll you have?


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