The Gray-test Ending EVER

Alright, I’ve put this off long enough. I really, really did not want to do this, because now the reality is setting in.

To say Monmouth has been the most insane roller coaster ride I’ve ever been on would be the understatement of the century. In the past three and a half years I cannot count how many laughs, tears, friends, and all-nighters that have been pulled in the pure namesake of the college experience.

However, there is no way that I would have been able to make it through everything, or even fully enjoyed college, without the help of all of the amazing people in my life. With that being said, there are some important people I need to thank.

To my family…

Mom and Dad. I know a lot of people say that their parents are the best, but they have nothing on you guys. You both have always been there to support me and hold me up when I was feeling the collegiate pressures and felt like I was about to crack. Yes, I am sorry that I stayed up all night finishing that [insert assignment name here], but you both taught me there is no excuse for not finishing your work. And while I am aware that I still might need a little help with my “time management” to avoid those instances, at least you know I planned correctly, somehow, since I am graduating early. Needless to say, I love you guys, and I cannot tell you how thankful I am to have you as my parents.

My sisters, Dayna, Kyli and Molly. You know I had to thank you all in here somewhere. Now sisters, I know sometimes we fight and sometimes I come home a little cranky from working at school for 12 hours a day on papers and whatnot, but I always want you to know that I would not be where I am today without you. I will never admit this again, but I talk about you guys constantly because you have had that much of an impact on my life. Everyone always says how beautiful you all are when I show them pictures of us together, and they are right. But you guys are beautiful on the inside and out, and I hope that you never forget that. Though, the outside might be a little bit prettier due to that MAC makeup you all use so well…

Meem. Oh, Memom, you have literally sat through it all! I cannot say that part without laughing, because your sharp humor is hilarious and that’s why you’re the best Meem in the world. Thank you for all the emoji-filled text messages, homemade sandwiches, and love that only a Memom can deliver- all while holding a glass of wine of course. You are one of my biggest cheerleaders, though I know you would argue that you are the biggest, and your passion and spirit have always been there to rile me back up when I am feeling unsure. If anyone asks, I definitely get my sass from you.

Nick and Adriana. My babies! You both can make my day a million times better in just two seconds. I know you guys probably won’t want me to read this to you, since you are too busy having the attention spans of  three and five year olds (which is ok because you are three and five) but I will try to read it to you anyway. And when that doesn’t work, I will just tuck it away so you can read it when you’re older. Hopefully at that point though, you both have stopped stealing all of my change to put in your piggybanks and taking my chapstick. I love you guys.

Mike. You have been my rock for the past two and a half years, and have somehow been able to handle all of my craziness. I have never met anyone as caring in my life, and I constantly think about how unbelievably lucky I am. Thank you for always being someone I can turn to when I have no idea what to do, for standing beside me when I need you most, and for being one of the most important people in my life. I love you with all my heart.

And now onto the little nuts that I call my friends…

Casey. First off, I love you. I know we have been through a lot this year, but I cannot tell you how incredibly grateful I am to have you in my life. We always can laugh and talk about the most nonsensical things, yet still understand each other. Thank you for being the truest example of a strong person with an even stronger heart.

Fabiana. I feel lost here already. How am I going to be able to operate without having someone who understands ever single food craving, music phenomena, and pop culture reference right next to me? Our de-stress sessions might just be one of the most significant parts of my week, and I know that this isn’t a good-bye, it is only a “I’ll see you at Starbucks” later.

Glatz. I am so “GLATZ” to have gotten to know you this year. Truly, you are the kind of friend that everyone should hope to have in their lives at some point. You go along with the flow just like those turtles you adore so much. You have really taken the entertainment section by storm, and I know that only great things can be expected from you in the future. Just keep swimming, Glatz.

Brandon. First off, thank you for stealing the bin I used to bring in the holiday decorations. It is a relief that your personal belongings will now have a safe home nestled underneath your desk, instead of on the tabletop next to your computer. But on a serious note, you are by far one of the most comical and kindhearted people I know. It has been nice being able to see you come out of your shell, and I am constantly impressed with how you handle yourself in every situation. Be sure to keep Glatz company in my absence, and please, stop eating two giant cinnamon rolls in one sitting. Just because they have cinnamon, doesn’t mean they are good for you.

Angela. I swear, there is no one else in the world like you. You inspire me with every feat you accomplish, and you do it with so much modesty. I don’t know how you are able to do it all, but you manage it flawlessly and never complain about a thing. You have shown me what it takes to pursue all of my goals without hesitation, and I am so glad to call you one of my best friends.

To my Monmouth family…

My Java city ladies. If it weren’t for you lovely ladies my mornings would not be possible! I might be going into Java for a cup of coffee, but I end up leaving with a cup of sunshine. Thank you guys for making sure that I didn’t pass out from caffeine exhaustion, and a huge thanks to my girl Jen for being so uplifting. Keep up the good work ladies, this campus wouldn’t function the same without you!

Sandy! If I were to ever have a certified therapist, it would have to be you. I cannot thank you enough for all of the times that you have talked me down from my stubborn Greek-ness, and for making me see the other side of the matters I might not have wanted to see. I cannot stress to you enough how much of an impact you have had on my college experience, and how my time at The Outlook would not have been as enjoyable without you. You are the best office mama anyone would ask for, and I am really going to miss not seeing you every single day. Besides, who else is going to yell back at me when I yell, “Sandy?!”

Mary Anne and Evelyn. You two are the dynamic duo, no doubt. Evelyn, you have given me the most profound and blunt advice that I could ever have not ask for, and I could not thank you enough. While I cannot print the actual advice given due to language regulations, I will never forget those firm kicks in the behind I needed to get my act together. And Mary Anne, you are the sweet little lamb to Evelyn’s lion. You are so kindhearted, and I hope that never changes.

Donna. You have such a motherly way about you that just instantly comforts people, and stopping by to talk to you in between classes always made the days so much better. I cannot tell you how much it meant to me when you shared your prayer card with me earlier this semester when I needed it, and I know that you have one of the most beautiful hearts because of it.

Professor Schmidt. Every time I see something witty I think of you immediately. I cannot count the amount of times that I’ve just been walking thru the communication offices to ask a question, only to somehow find myself sitting in your office watching TED talks for over a half hour. Thank you for all of the stimulating conversation, and don’t you worry, I will keep sending you those emails about street art and interesting book covers, whether you want them or not.

Professor Sanford. When I think of people that really made an impact on my college career, you are among the first that come to mind. Now I know that you want to torture your students, and that is fine I will not dispute that, but you must know that you have really influenced where I want to go in my life. My bathroom runs will absolutely be much duller without knowing I will run into you on the way there, and I apologize for how awkward that sounds. Nonetheless, thank you for being such a great professor and advisor, and for making my time at Monmouth worth the while.

Professor DiMattio. You are by far my most favorite art professor ever, and our Greece trip will be one that I will remember always. In fact, that trip was the adventure of a lifetime, and I can’t thank you enough for allowing me, and all of those other nuts that accompanied us on that trip, the experience. You are a kind man with a kind soul, and I will never forget that for the rest of my life.

Kris and Bea. You two are the main reason that my Wednesdays and Fridays rocked so much. I don’t think I have ever looked so foward to work as I did when I was coming down to work with you both. Keep the laughs going and keep up the amazing work you both do. Oh! And don’t forget to take a Rook coffee break every now and then too!

To The Outlook and Professor Morano…

The Outlook has been a part of my college experience for over three years and I cannot express how important it has been to me. Though, frustrating as times may have gotten, everything I have experienced at The Outlook has made me grow stronger as a journalism student, and as a person.

To the 2013-14 staff, thank you all for your support and for preparing me to make my last semester one of the best. To Jackie, Kell Brock, and Nicole in particular, you guys are absolutely amazing and I am so happy to have had the opportunity to to work with you all.

To the 2014-15 staff, guys we had a trying semester, but I am so impressed with how well you all have handled every obstacle thrown your way. I know you all still have a lot of great things coming in the next year, and I cannot wait to see what you all can do.

So I guess that is it. It feels so weird to finally be stepping off of this ride, but I feel confident that all of my experiences at Monmouth have prepared me for the next move. I will always look back at college as the best times of my life, and to those reading this who still have some time left, remember to enjoy it for all it is worth.

In the mean time, I’m going to get in line for the Real World Tilt-a-Whirl Swirl.