“I’ll Make it to the Moon if I Have to Crawl” | Brendan Greve’s Senior Goodbye

The end of my career at Monmouth University and the Outlook is approaching, leaving me scratching my head and wondering where time goes. This is my senior goodbye and thank you to The Outlook, an organization that has helped me accomplish many goals both inside and outside of the classroom during my time at Monmouth. As I reflect on my life and where it is today, I can’t help but think about where it was four years ago before I joined The Outlook.

I remember this one weekend about four years ago I was sitting in the back of my friend’s car and the topic of “what do you want to be when you grow up?” came up in conversation. I had asked myself that question countless times, never coming up with an answer. I said, “I think it would be cool to be a lawyer.” My friend looked at me like I had two heads and said, “Have you ever thought about doing anything else?”

I understood his skepticism. We were parked outside of an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. I was staying with a friend of mine from the meetings who would let me sleep on his couch. The only thing I had going for me was a job bussing tables. I was suspended from school at the time, unsure of whether I’d be allowed back, and was doing a pretty good job at tarnishing my opportunity of getting an education at Monmouth University. It made sense that someone would think that I wouldn’t make much of my life.

Unlike many successful Monmouth students, I didn’t care much for the opportunities that our school provided when I first arrived. I planned on skating by like I did in high school but the habits I used to get away with came back to hurt me. It took me to almost lose my chance of graduating and taking advantage of those opportunities to realize how important they really are. After that night, I didn’t want to be told that I can’t or that I’m not allowed to do something ever again.

When I went back to Monmouth, under a microscope, one thing that I could do was write articles for The Outlook. I always enjoyed debating and was really interested in politics. I asked Professor John Morano and he said they would be glad to have me and that he would arrange a meeting with the politics editor at the time, Chris Orlando. I could not thank either of them enough. Getting into my articles became a great way to get my mind off of outside problems and integrated me back into the Monmouth community.

I started reaching out to professors from my political science and legal classes like Professors Greg Bordelon, John Comiskey, Stephen Chapman, Saliba Sarsar, Ryan Tetro, Peter Reinhart, George Gonzalez and Joseph Patten. After classes that I had with them, I’d interview them about my articles and we would have great discussions about law and politics. The connections I made with them helped me tremendously.

Professor Bordelon gave me the idea that I could make it in law school and become a lawyer by asking me to join the Mock Trial team and helping me plan for the LSAT. Professors Patten and Reinhart wrote my letters of recommendations to law school and helped me secure two internships. Because of these professors, I will be at-tending law school next year— taking the next step to accomplish my dream of becoming a lawyer when I didn’t think getting an undergraduate degree was possible not long ago. I can’t thank these professors enough for bringing out the potential in me that I never saw in myself.

Another opportunity that The Outlook gave me was allowing me to become the co-editor of the politics section with the awesome Jasmine Ramos. By becoming editor, I was introduced to Monmouth’s best and brightest like Brianna McCabe, Kelly Brocket, Danielle Schipani, along with the rest of the staff. I have had the pleasure of working with students that truly take their education seriously. Being around people that are better than me and that are so responsible, driven, and smart has compelled me to work harder to hopefully become half as successful as the girls (and two guys besides me) in The Outlook will be.

I have also created great friendships as well. I truly enjoy our meetings every week because of hilarious people like Jasmine, Jamilah, Ally, Lauren, and Amanda. I never thought that I could have so much fun and laugh as hard as I do while still being part of an award-winning college newspaper.

I also realized how close the Outlook family was when my father died last September. I was grateful to see the flowers that were sent to his funeral by the office and the condolences I received from every Outlook member. I’m grateful for the office coordinator, Sandy Brown, who supported me and helped me get through that tough time.

That leads me to my next thank you which is to my father, Ron Greve Jr.. Dad, I miss you so much and there hasn’t been a day gone by that I haven’t thought about you. I wish that I could share this exciting part of my life with you but I know that you’ll always be with me. I have learned countless lessons from you. Most of all, you taught me to enjoy the simple things in life and that you can never have too many friends.

For those who did not know my father, he had over 600 people attend his wake. My father wasn’t a public official, a celebrity, or anything like that. My father was well known for his big heart and for being a great friend. He was the best father that my brother Pat, two sisters Meghan and Courtney, and I could ask for. He had a knack for telling the same jokes and stories over and over again but yet, every time they were just as great and everyone wanted to hear him deliver the same punchlines. I think this is so we could never forget them. I’ve realized in my last four years as a college journalist how everyone is always looking for “the story.” I think that the reason is be-cause, after we’re gone, we all live through our stories, what we did, how many friends knew our stories, and our ability to tell them. Dad, you were the king of stories and I can only hope to pass all of them on and create a few of my own. For now, I will take the corny line of advice you used to tell us when you dropped us off at school that you probably heard somewhere else, “Live today like it’s the first day of the rest of your life.”

I also want to thank my mom, Dr. Sheila McAllister. It would be a fair point to say that while dad taught me how to enjoy myself, you taught me how to work. My mother is a professor at Monmouth that unfortunately can’t work right now because of her health. When we lived in Bergen County, my mom would commute to Monmouth every day from an hour and a half away because she knew that I would have the opportunity to get an education here. The hours that she sacrificed for her job while putting up with me is an accomplishment that not many can make. My mother’s unwavering love and support for me has everything to do with who I am today. She always had faith in me, no matter what. I would just like to tell her thank you, and to take a break. It is my turn to put in the work and I will do all I can to support you and make sure you don’t have to work another day in your life.

Lastly, I would like to thank The Outlook’s new members that will fill this classes role next year. I wish Courtney Buell the best of luck as the new Editor-in-Chief next semester and am sure that she will do well. As I move on to the next stage, I would just like to give some advice to the upcoming Outlook members. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. How you feel, has nothing to do with what you can and can’t accomplish. Most of all, don’t avoid pain, uncomfortably, and failure. As someone who avoided those things for years, I only experienced more of it until I finally learned that pain is crucial to growth. My advice is to embrace challenges and embrace change. Do what you need to do to accomplish your goals and don’t give up on them be-cause you’re closer than you think. Over my past years at Monmouth, I have experienced plenty of pain, discomfort, and failure but more than anything, it helped me grow. As I learned in Professor Patten’s Intro to Political Science class sophomore year, a crazy German guy named Friedrich Nietzsche said, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”