Hawkin’ and Squawkin’ Away: Adieu Monmouth | Joanna Zietara’s Senior Goodbye

How can I wrap up the past four years in a short article? It’s truly impossible but I’ll try to be as concise as I can. The past four years have been wonderful. Monmouth University changed my life completely; I don’t even recognize my 18-year-old self when looking at pictures from freshman year.

The thought of leaving this place that has helped me grow so much makes me want to cuddle up with my Shadow the Hawk plushy and cry my eyes out. I thought the day to write my senior farewell would approach me slowly; instead, it hit me right in the face. It’s hard to believe that after May 16, I will be a Monmouth alumnus and will not be stepping foot on our beautiful campus in September.

I am going to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro for graduate school in August, but Monmouth will always hold a special place in my heart. From countless all-nighters, to the blackout we had in 2008 when everyone decided to play manhunt on our pitch black campus, to the Elmhood days, I will miss every single minute in Long Branch and on campus.

I have to start out with thanking my mom and my step-dad for helping me with my decision to attend Monmouth. You helped me figure it out financially and supported every decision I made throughout the four years. Mom, I’ll never forget your face as you were leaving campus after helping me move-in to Elmwood. You were confident that I will be okay, but the worry in your eyes made me realize how much I mean to you. Thank you.

The Outlook has been a huge part of my life and I can’t thank Gina, the Editor in Chief, enough for that. You JoannaFarewell5were the one that recruited me first as a writer and then as an editor on your staff during our Elmwood days. I am so glad we were neighbors; without your push, I would not have joined the team which would have been the biggest mistake I could ever make. I am sure that one day, I’ll see your name in some high-end magazine as editor-in-chief, because you know you got it girl. You are one of the most motivated and focused people that I have ever met and I am so proud to call you one of my closest friends. Our numerous talks at the office meant so much to me when I was going through some rough patches and your caring personality always made me feel so much better. It’s hard to think about next year without you, being nine hours away, but I’m sure we will keep in touch and I’ll be able to see your amazing face through Skype…if you’re not too busy for me Wonder Woman. Still can’t believe you had that haircut freshman year you poodle.


Anthony… Oh Anthony. What can I say about you, partner? We have been through quite a lot together working on our section and butting heads every now and then. I want you to know that I would never want a different partner; I think we have a special relationship that not a lot of people can understand. From taking care of me in Seattle, to keeping my spirits up during my sad days, to the massages I got from your wonderful hands, you will always be very close to my heart and I know you will stay in my life for a long time. Remember that time you tried to scare me at the office and you wound up scaring Dr. Novek? Nice job.

Brett. All I can say is Oanna… I know I always call you a pest when you annoy me beyond understanding, but without your energy and personality, the office would be quite boring. Your numerous inappropriate jokes really kept me up… if you catch my drift. I will miss you next year but you promised to call every now and then and scream “OANNA” through the phone… I will be waiting for those phone calls. Good luck being the Editor in Chief next year… I believe in you.

Jenna. You are the tiniest ball of fire and I love it. You have so much patience with Brett and so much positive energy. I have never seen you down and I think you’re the definition of a great leader. Thank you for putting up with my inappropriate comments to you… deep down, you enjoyed them.

What would our team be without the Great Jackie? From the moment you came into the office asking me if you can write for my section, I knew you’d be an amazing addition to the team. You’re crazy and hysterical and most importantly… Polish. Polish Power, always. I know that one day; you’ll serve as Editor-in-Chief because you’re da bomb… “Ummmm, hello!?”

Nick and Ed… You guys were the biggest hidden gems of Outlook until we went to Seattle… where you both let it all out. Nick, your calm attitude about everything infuriated Gina during some production nights but I loved every second of her beating you up for not finishing your section. I also love your story ideas… “Well, that club is doing that thing on that one day…” Ed, your swag overwhelms me sometimes and I also love the fact that a smile never leaves your face. You’ll be great at taking over Brett’s position next year.

Matt, you are so talented at what you do and so passionate in writing about entertainment and, of course, comics. Your failed attempts at punch lines make you that much cuter and I love that I had the chance to work with you for the past two years.

Chris Commando Orlando… you took over the Politics section and jumped right into improving it. Your vast knowledge of politics made me feel like a little ant when I sat next to you and you’d go on your long monologues about the government. I am so happy that I got to work with you, even if it was just for a mere semester.

Kelly Broccoli… You are AD Jesus, simply said. You completely transformed the ad department and because of you, we get free food every Monday and Tuesday. When you graduate, I don’t think there will be anyone that can fill your shoes. I am glad that we are both Rangers fans and I always look forward to watching playoff games in the conference room with you.

Sarah, you a technological genius. You have completely transformed our website and our social media. I will always remember our wine nights in Seattle.

Chris Netta and Amanda. You guys have been an amazing addition to our team. Your help in the office was always appreciated. Chris, even though you declined to go to BOTH Los Angeles and Seattle, I still accept you. Keep the Polish jokes coming, my friend. Amanda, you are hysterical and an extremely creative writer… I hope that one day, you will find your zombie love.

Professor Morano, you have been a great guiding hand to all of us and your passion for journalism and your support for the paper seep through your pores. You have defended us and stood by our side whenever we made a mistake. You’re an amazing advisor and a true inspiration to all of us.

Sandy, I can’t even describe what you mean to all of us. I wish I had more space to write all of the wonderful things about you, but all I can say is that you are really a mom to all of us. You care about every single one of us and your presence in the office is always greatly appreciated.

Evelyn, you completely changed my outlook on men in this world; our talks in the office and your life experiences will always stay in my memory. You shared many things with me as well, and I couldn’t thank you enough for putting that trust in me. I will visit, I promise.

Because of being on staff, I got the opportunity to travel to Los Angeles and Seattle for journalism conferences and share incredible memories with all of the editors. It was also nice to explore the west coast without spending a dime… thank you MU.

JoannaFarewell7Besides The Outlook, I was involved with New Student Orientation every summer since I stepped foot on campus. I worked as a Student Advising mentor, and served as an Orientation leader for two summers. Even though the OLs woke up every day at 6:00 am and worked 17 hours a day at times, I can truly say that it was the most rewarding job I have ever had.

Susan Damaschke… I will never forget you and the influence you’ve had on my life and my career choice. I am tearing up thinking about three summers spent with you and all of the memories that will always stay very close to my heart.

A huge thank you to all the characters in Student Services and Residential Life. Every one of you has been a caring friend to me and your passion for what you do persuaded me to also take on a career in higher education administration. My involvement with orientation can be traced back to Debbie and Danielle in the First Year Advising Office, when in 2009, they gave me a chance to be a SAM. Thank you for believing in me and for being amazing mentors to all of us.

I’ve made many friends throughout the four years but there are a select few that I really hope to stay in touch with after Monmouth.

JoannaFarewell6Liz… living with you for the past four years has been truly amazing. I can say that we were blessed to get paired up freshman year. I will never forget our walks to McDonalds when we didn’t have cars, our Thursday nights, the big house, our dancing videos, our FG visits, our cuddle sessions and the friendship that we developed in a very short time. We have been through a lot together and I’m happy to say that I shared both the negative and the positive moments with you. I hate knowing that I will never be able to see your beautiful morning face but I really hope that we will stay in touch, even when our lives will lead us in completely different directions.

The boys of Albert Place, I will never forget you and the great memories that we made in that house, which shouldn’t even classify as a livable house.

Sara, the coincidence that occurred in March of 2011 cannot be described… it’s like you fell into my life at the perfect moment.

Ciara, you are an amazing person and I am so happy that we got to share many hysterical moments together, most of which occurred when walking back from Jacks. I know that I will keep in touch with you and I am forever grateful for the many deep talks that we’ve had.

Anthony C., you have been a wonderful friend to me for the past 10 months; the only thing I regret is not meeting you sooner so that we could have made even more memories together.

I promised myself to write concisely, but there is no way that I could have cut anything out of my four years at Monmouth University. I’d love to rewind my four years here and experience it all over again, and I wouldn’t change a thing. Knowing that my flight as a hawk is coming to an end is really upsetting but I know that Monmouth will always welcome me with open arms and the memories made here will be carried by me everywhere I go. Thank you Monmouth University, for the best four years of my life.