It’s Always Better When We’re Together | Jenna Intersimone’s Senior Goodbye

During my too-short four years at Monmouth University, I think it’s safe to say that I was involved. I wanted to immerse myself in campus life; I never wanted to say,I wish I did that.However, the only organization that became a part ofmewasThe Outlook, not only thanks to the dignified quality in which we stand for as a newspaper but mostly thanks to the committed and oddly eccentric people that call our little office home.

In being a part ofThe Outlook, I found what I was looking for at our University; people who were passionate about journalism but also knew how to have fun. This staff is fun, outgoing, outlandish, devoted, and perhaps most importantly, all vastly different. From this, I think that we created our own dysfunctional family, one in which sometimes wants to go at each other’s throats but deep down (sometimes really deep down) loves one another and always comes back together. Before I start tearing up thanking ourOutlookbabies, I want to thank some of the people who helped make this place my home from the beginning…

The Outlook Old-Timers

Gina, I will always credit you with being the one to bring me into this brilliant organization. To this day, I consider you my mentor and whenever I’ve grappled with a decision, I always know that youjenna_goodbye_1are the one who can put it in perspective for me. You and I operate on the same wavelength (one that often screams at Brett) and I truly look up to you. You were the one who brought this newspaper back and held us together as a family.

Tony, my big brother ofThe Outlook. You are always there to mess up my hair and make dumb short jokes (what a surprise) but most importantly, you are always there for me. I always know that you have my back even when you are trying to pretend you’re such a hardass, which becomes even more evident when I somehow convince you to visit me… two hours away. (Did I say one hour? Whoops, sorry). We all know you’re a big softie Tony, give it a rest. We also all know that in the midst of all of the practical jokes, you’re a fantastic journalist and like everyone atthe Asbury Park Pressknows, you are destined for great things. I hope that soon enough, I can have a big-kid job like you… see you at theWall Street Journal!

FISHER! I’ll always remember you as the one who never got sick of my stupid questions when I was just a baby and couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to work InDesign. The amount of commitment and enthusiasm you served for this paper is something that I know will follow you within your career as well. My favorite thing is when I come into the office and I see that there is a cartoon waiting for me (and my second favorite is seeing you do shots at the bar and dance with cougars).

Sandra, I couldn’t be happier that we are living together next year, even though I know that you will unfortunately be bringing around that strange boy Tony with you. I know that we are going to have loads of fun, which was evidenced by the fact you had a whole itinerary of awesome things to do (and cheap!) when we went to Wildwood over the summer.

Jowanna, I can’t believe you’re all the way in beautiful North Carolina. This little state is a lot quieter without you and a lot more boring. Your often-inappropriate jokes were always guaranteed to bring laughs to our loud office and I miss having you around to tell us about your certain “movements” and get crunked on one beer with us.

The Outlook Babies

Bretterick, I guess you’re not really a baby since you were in this office before I was. I see what you mean now when you said that when you were writing my part of your goodbye you started to tear up. I remember when you were just a quiet freshman in our Intro to Communication class. Who would have known that you would soon be the one to laugh me into oblivion with your eight million weird voices while simultaneously making me want to beat you for putting my phone outside on the ledge? Amidst your weirdness, you have been a great leader for this paper over the last year and you strongly held us together while keeping us laughing all the while. It’s been a pleasure working with you for four years and I know that you will continue to be successful… and annoying… wherever you end up. GOD BRETT! There you have it.

My little Edward. I never would have thought you would be the one I would be with while Alex and I would try to make you eat pomegranates and ask if we could put makeup on you. You are the kindest, funniest, and most considerate person I havejenna_goodbye_4ever met and it’s been a joy over this last God knows how many months. Thank you for sticking by me when I am being a nast (which is most of the time) and for being a world traveler with me and always being my constant amidst all of the craziness that is my life. I literally do not know how you put up with it, but I’m sure glad that you do.

Oh, Nicholas. I can’t believe that the only reason I ever met you was because you and Greg were the loudest upstairs neighbors anyone could ask for. I’m so glad that we’re friends and that I get to hear your too-honest commentary all of the time. You’re always a blast to hang out with, whether its in the wilderness with the Outdoors Club or chilling in your awesome beachfront apartment, and I’m looking forward to seeing your stories inRolling Stonewhen the time is right.

Kelbel, I’m so excited to be roomies next year and wreak havoc on Long Branch (which is obviously a given). We can make gourmet meals and harass Tony and basically continue to act as the both of us are still undergraduates (even though I’ll officially be old while you still get to live the good life at Monmouth University, you lucky duck). It’s hard to believe that you were once the quiet Ad Girl ofThe Outlookwhen now you’re the Ad Girl who I consider the “manager” of this circus. Thanks for saving our sorry asses and being the game face for the ads ofThe Outlook. Without you, we would be sad, unorganized, and… hungry.

Angela, I couldn’t be happier that I found you in Italy. You are the most diligent and motivated reporter I have ever met and I love that passion you have for this field. I know that is going to take you far in this industry, even if it first takes you a few more years to graduate! You have a real knack for news and I can’t believe you manage to balance all of the different activities you are involved in while still producing such great content in our section and on the back page.

Alexis, I literally cannot believe you didn’t find your way over to this crazy office sooner because you fit in perfectly. Your funny (and awkward) stories always bring a smile to my face. Thank you for dealing with Viewpoint throughout the year. I’m going to miss you next year… hope you get that coveted job that you were so perfect for from Senior Seminar!

Jackie, you have been a fantastic partner-in-crime in our sometimes struggling section this semester as well as a great source of comic relief when we bond over the miracles that can sometimes happen in the news section… like when the space is filled. You’re going to be a great editor-in-chief next year.

Wraggie, you are one of the sweetest girls that I have ever met and I’m looking forward to seeing you flourish as a journalist. Your friendly attitude and kind demeanor will make you successful in any work that you do. It’s amazing to me that I didn’t even know you when this semester began but you always went out of your way to chat with me, and now I can’t imagineThe Outlookbeing able to function without you.

Orlando, you have made the Politics section one of the strongest sections in this paper, if not the strongest, and it is a testament to how talented and smart you are being that you don’t even study communication as your major. You really care about everything that goes on in this office and I hope you know that kind of commitment and care doesn’t go unnoticed. I know that your work here will only continue to be successful, as will your work beyond Monmouth University, which is why you can definitely count on my vote for Christopher Orlando for United States President.

Alyssa! I guess it’s only fitting that a girl with such big hair could have such a big voice… and a big heart. I look forward to your zealous GOOD MORNING when I struggle into the office to the coffee machine, which I know you can relate with when you ask, “If I drink the smaller cup of coffee does that mean it will be more concentrated?” Keep working hard and being loud. Seriously.

Kevin Holton, or should I call you Alex Chase, it has been interesting to work with someone as passionate about literary work as you are. I’ve admired how you would never settle for being an “idea-er” as Professor Morano says, but instead, you are a courageous writer with talent both inthe Outlookand within your novels. Write on, traveler.

Nicole, it has been exciting to see you grow from when you wrote for the Honors Newsletter to your position now as the Entertainment editor. Week-to-week, you produce great work and always make sure that Entertainment keeps it exciting even when things get rough.

Casey, you did a fantastic job taking over Features this year and I’m glad I was able to pass down that wonderful section to someone so talented and driven. I know that you will continue to excel as a student and as a journalist with the motivation and dedication that you possess.

Morganne, Netta, and ARem, thank you for putting up with our dumb questions and childlike habits and, most importantly, helping to make this paper fantastic.

Writers, thank you for selflessly devoting so many hours to making this newspaper great. Without you, we would be nothing. It has been a pleasure to work with you and to help you grow as journalists.

jenna_goodbye_3Our Outlook Parents

Sandy, what would this newspaper be without you? The drama we put you through is unreal and your title really needs something else besides “Office Coordinator”… I’m thinking “Savior” may be a little more fitting. Thank you for being the one to assemble us and always go above and beyond to ensure the daily workings of this chaotic organization.

Oh Evelyn. I don’t know what I’m going to do without you to give me daily pick-me-ups. You always know just what to say and most importantly, how to say it. You always ensure me that things are going to be A-OK. Thank you for being my office mom throughout my years here.

Professor Morano, the amount of knowledge and skill you have in this field is admirable and I can only hope that one day I can have the pleasure to have as many titles and established publications on my resume that you do. Prof and Dr. Novek, I’ve learned not only from your classes and from your advising, but from the exciting stories you have told us. It is these stories and advice that have gotten me through obstacles I’ve encountered while working here. Thank you for always leading and sticking byThe Outlook.

To the entire communication department staff, Monmouth University has a true group of gems residing in Plangere. This department has more than education on its side, but tried-and-true experience as well which students have and will continue to benefit from. Thank you for acting not only as professors and staff members as a career, but as people dedicated to their students.

My Family

Mother, without you, there isn’t a chance I would be writing this right now, because you are the one who instilled a love of writing within me when I was littler than I am now. You never doubted my decision to be a writer and even in the midst of a failing economy and millions of unemployed post-graduates, you continue to believe in me. Never once have you doubted me. Never once did you say, “Maybe you should try something easier,” but instead you told me to follow what I love and to hell with it, drop that finance major. Thank God.

Dad, thanks for keeping my life interesting with the craziness that seems to follow us wherever we go, because without you, I wonder if there would be many zany tales to tell in the first place.

Grandpa, thanks for always believing in me and sticking up for me when the going got tough. You are always there to give me advice that’s sometimes wise and grandfatherly but more often than not, is more in the realm of remaining courageous and to not take anyone’s shit. You’re one tough cookie.

Dona, you were one to tell me on our way to the Poconos, “Maybe you should think about journalism.” Even from all the way in Nashville, you still manage to be a great bestie and I’ve always known you’re only a phone call away, although I like it more when you’re just a drive away. From Rites of Spring to road trips to Hilton Head and running from packs of bees, I know that we will only continue to make our moms nervous when we tell them about our next greatest idea.

Alex, I never thought the girl from my girl scout troop who wanted to help me catch aliens in my front yard would be the one who… I still do that stuff with today. We packed these four years full of more fun than normal mischievous college kids could have and I have you to thank for that. One thing is for sure, it’s never been boring when you and I are together. Thanks for being my partner-in-crime and for never being the one to say “that may not be a good idea.”

Chelsea, I couldn’t be happier that you are a part of our Howland family. Together, the three of us have run rampant down Cookman, slept many nights in rented king beds, and dealt with the obscenities that are the gingerbread house on 18 Howland. I know you’re going to do great down in ‘Bama and I can’t wait to road trip down to see you (so you can introduce us to all the country boys).

Last Words

Although I’m sad that my time at Monmouth University andThe Outlookhas come to an end, this proves to me that I made Monmouth a home and anyone would be sad to leave a place as close to them as that. I couldn’t be more thankful to President Gaffney, the Honors School, the Annual Fund, the friends I have made, and the organizations I was involved with to making my time here the best four years of my life.

One of my professors once said, “College doesn’t teach you what to think. It teaches you how to think.” From this magnificent university, I have learned how to persevere through adversity, prove all of the pessimists wrong, follow my own passions in life, work hard and later on, play hard, find the truth and the good in an unpleasant story and situation, and ultimately, be comfortable enough in my own skin to trust myself to move onto the next great escapade.

I have as much faith in myself as I do in the dedicated professionals who taught me here. I know that I can aspire to the things I hope to achieve, which are, but are not limited to, being a columnist forNational Geographic Traveler, editingMarie Claire, having my own talk show (Just Jenna), having my own explorer television show (Jenna versus Wild), and being a novelist on the beautiful Jersey Shore. I also know that Monmouth University will continue to prosper and I look forward to seeing how it grows within the coming years. For Monmouth, as well as myself, I know that this is only the beginning.