Closing Time…I Love You, Monmouth | Lauren Niesz’s Senior Goodbye

“Closing time, open all the doors and let you out into the world…”

I am so lucky to have been a part of Monmouth University. I am so lucky to have been a copy editor, writer, opinion and senior editor at The Outlook. I am so lucky to have been a lead commuter student mentor. I am so lucky to have worked for the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering. The only thing I can really say definitively is that I am the luckiest girl in the whole world and I truly believe that.

There are so many people that were pivotal in making these past four years the most enjoyable and happiest four years of my entire life. This article is for you all because you are all so extremely important to me.

Alright, Drennan– you knew you’d be first. Thank you for sliding into my DMs Sophomore year and forcing me to be your friend. And thanks for screaming “Hey girl!” across the JP parking lot at me the first day of classes at 8:30 in the morning. I never thought that that “hey” would be the beginning of a completely unique and unbreakable friendship.

I already miss parking next to each other every morning at 8:00AM, me in my little red Mazda, Stacy, if you will, and you in your little convertible, Lulu with Lola dancing in the sun on the dash, screaming lyrics to whatever is playing on Hot 97 at the time (or maybe it’s Ride or Die) with our windows up.

And you know I will never forget Global Inequalities class, with Father B, our first class together, when we were not that great of friends yet. Remember when we didn’t know we could have study guides for the midterm exam and still got A’s?

If we didn’t have class together, we would stay in touch during our classes, of course. Whether it was your science class and my romantic literature class or my Spanish class and your literature class (I think? You know I already forget), but we would always complain together during class. Oh wait, and don’t forget Twerk Team Practice (TTP) every week, where we would get Dunkin’ and play hangman in the Pozyki conference room.

My time at Monmouth would not have been the same without you—my best friend and forever partner-in-crime. Love you, Mandz.

Hey, Jazzy. Girl, you were always there for me through my crazy semester of dumb decisions. I am so incredibly happy that you pointed at me and Amanda at the Philly airport when Maggie said, “They’re going to Disneyland if anyone else wants to go.” No one else deals with mine and Amanda’s shenanigans like you do. Pier 311 forever.

Connor. White. You absolutely beautiful human. You have been such an amazing friend to me and I am just so literally blessed to have you in my life. You really inspire me with your wit, sarcasm, and your angelic vocals. Thank you for always being there for me and always giving me the harsh truth, even though sometimes I don’t want to hear it.

BRIDGET: my sister-wife (Tom Daly…who else?) and day one best friend. I really don’t know where to start with you. You were there for me when I was the saddest in my entire life and you were the only friend who stuck with me and helped me through. You are one of the most indispensable people in my life; you truly saw me at my worst and forced a smile on my face every single day of high school.

From anti-prom takes Washington D.C. to Senior Skip Day and even now to struggling to find time to hang out together, you will always be my best friend. I can’t wait for you to succeed immensely at LIM next year (and for us to have more time to be the sister-wives we are).

Okay, I am going to thank the Monmouth Men’s Basketball program in here, too because they’ve been such a positive impact on my undergraduate career. Being a fan of the team since I was about 10 years old when they played in Boylan Gym, the men’s team has always given me a reason to be a fan of something. Witnessing the program explode over the past few years has truly been a privilege (especially for the young 10 year old fan in me).

The games gave the semesters purpose for Amanda and I. We had something to look forward to every week and something to follow and be enamored with. Whether it was laughing at Shadow slamming his giant foot down, or driving sixteen hours to and from North Carolina this year, the MU Basketball Team gave me something to be inspired by (thanks, Coach Rice).

Alright, Outlookers (haha). As you all know, I don’t have much room for this, so here it goes:

Danielle– You always showed how much you cared about The Outlook and you always saw the best in everyone. You have faith in us, and I have faith that you will do incredible things. Thank you for giving me all of the opportunities I got this semester with The Outlook.

Jammy– Girl. I will miss grey turtle neck days and Peaches class together. I will miss making fun of ‘Door knob’ and jamming to Drake late on production Tuesday nights. I love you, honey and I am so genuinely excited to see the change you make in the world.

Lifestyles– You are literally such a gem. You are one in a million, honey. I will miss your absurd comments and random outbursts—your laugh and extreme concern and care for each of us.

Courtney– My little. I will always be thinking of you and our little chats in my mom car on my way to drop you off on the residential side. Good luck next year in your new role as Editor-in-Chief. Proud of you.

Ally– Remember meeting each other with dad in the student center? We will still be the two most ridiculous OG CSMs to ever exist. Good luck next year with everything- do great!

Jess– I will miss screaming “Jess!” on the rare occasion I actually see you in the office. Thank you for being yourself and sharing that with us—you really are the realest.

John– You will forever be the Outlook MVP. I honestly cannot wait to read your sports stories in the most reputable of publications and say, “Hey, I used to have a workspace right behind him.” You will do such amazing things—I am certain.

Brendan– You really make the most absurd and hysterical comments in the office and I will miss your bluntness and your phenomenal opinions.

Sandy– You are the most important part of The Outlook and we literally would be like wild animals, un-caged, in a zoo without you. Thank you for being the commander of the ship and the ear we oftentimes vent to. You are the best.

I wanted to throw in another Outlook shout-out to a vet: Maggie Zelinka. Maggie thank you for making me feel like I belong at The Outlook. You were the most welcoming face at The Outlook when I started back in spring 2015. Without you, I don’t know if I would have stuck it out.

Throughout my time at Monmouth, I have had so many professors make the most insane impacts on me and I would like to say a few things about them…

Professor Kretsch, you are a second mom to me. Working with you every single semester of my college career, we really have grown close. You have always encouraged me to aim high and go for any opportunity I can get my hands on.

It is because of you that I have decided on a future (my Master’s Degree in Information Systems), a future path I never would have even remotely considered had you not reached out to me freshman year and asked me to Lab Assist and then asked me to be your Office Assistant. I cannot thank you enough.

Dr. Foster, you inspire me every day. If anyone ever asks me who one of the best professors I have ever had is, it is a no-brainer for me to say Dr. Foster. You purely amaze me in how much you know and how passionate you are in your field. You got me as a freshman (and then again every year until Junior year), and you showed me what college was really all about: hard work and dedication. Thank you for teaching me vital life skills and inspiring me to be a sociology minor.

Dr. Werner, even though I only just had you for the first time this semester, you have made a difference in my life. It was always so curious to people how I could be acclimated to both English studies and technology, but you showed me that it isn’t odd, it’s an advantage and it is actually pretty cool. Your class combined everything I love studying and your constructive criticism has pushed me to want to do better every single assignment.

Now, I wouldn’t forget my own family. My Mom, Dad, and brother, Jeff will always be the greatest people in my entire life. I don’t care who else there is in the world: you three are my absolute rock. Without you guys, I would literally be a wreck (not that I’m not already).

Dad, you’re my best friend. I am most like you in so many ways (it’s horrifying). You were always there to push me and make me ask myself “okay, what’s next,” or “what else can I do?” You and I can’t sit still for five seconds and we have to get our hands on everything we can. However, because you and I are this similar, you always knew when to tell me to chill out, too. I took on a lot of responsibilities at Monmouth and between you and Mom, you guys knew the right things to say to pull me back in and think realistically.

Momma, or should I say Banana-Nut Muffin, you are my number one. There is no one in this entire world that knows me better than you or knows how to deal with me best. You know I love to write, and I honestly don’t know how to put into words how much you mean to me. There is no one I would rather spend every second of the day with. You just get me.

Whether we are out stressing over Christmas shopping and gifts or just playing Scrabble and watching Frozen together, I wouldn’t want to spend that time with anyone else. You are my favorite human in the entire world. You are so incredible—truly you are. I couldn’t do half of the things you do and you just purely amaze me. I am luckier than anyone in the world to be able to call YOU my mom.

*Cue the Broadway music and let me introduce the best brother on the planet* Willkommen, Jeffrey. Without you I don’t think that I would be able to function. You make me laugh so much with our humor. No one gets it but us, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I can’t wait to see you, your white sweater, and your classic dad jokes.

This is so dumb to say, but you’re the coolest brother ever. Your work ethic and smarts are something that cannot be replicated and I was always jealous of how just incredible I always knew your future would be. Thank you for always sharing your advice (even though I don’t think I ever really ask for it) and helping me make some pretty major life decisions (like, remember when I decided to join The Outlook and not tell Mom and Dad until I got my first article published?).

I love you three more than anyone or anything in the entire universe. Thank you for always supporting me and always encouraging me in every single decision I have ever made, even the poor ones.

I am so incredibly lucky to be a Monmouth University graduate of English and I am so excited to continue my education as a Hawk in Computer Science. Thank you all for making my undergraduate studies the best four years of my life.

(Wish I could have written about: Coral, Kat, Josh, Anthony, Steph, and Maddie. You are all in my thoughts!)

“Closing time, every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end…”