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The World Only Spins Forward | Kerry Breen’s Senior Goodbye

If anything has defined my time here at Monmouth, it’s The Outlook. For the past four years, this newspaper has been my family. I started writing for this paper the first week of my freshman year and just never stopped, and now I find myself writing half a dozen stories per week. However, without some of the amazing people here, I would have never lasted this long. Being a part of this newspaper really did change my life, and I’m so thankful to anyone who ever stepped foot in the newsroom for the part they played in that.

Courtney – All year, you’ve been putting up with the crazy stories that I bring to your desk, and you’re always willing to jump in, make it work, and stick it on the front page. Without you, half of the best stories this year wouldn’t exist, and without you, the other half wouldn’t have been published at all.

Breen 2Ally – Where would I even be without you? Whether it’s organizing my life for me or talking me off the ledge again, there’s no way that I could have done the work this year without you.

Joy – Thank you for your endless sunshine and the constant ‘joy’ that you share every time I see you! Whether it’s organizing a huge charity event or writing a story for the paper, you are always extraordinarily capable, and your optimism is one of the only reasons I got through this year.

Mehdi – Thank you for being the most competent, most trustworthy future news editor I could ask for. You’re going to be great next year, and I can’t wait to see how it goes.

Nicole R. – What would I do on Mondays without you? Whether it’s talking about musicals, makeup, or Marvel, you make production days so much brighter, and I can’t wait to watch you run this place next year.

Breen 3Nick – Thank you so much for saving politics and for being one of my favorite people at The Outlook. You make Tuesday nights so much better than they would otherwise be, and I hope we continue to have weird conversations, exchange cooking tips, and argue about potatoes.

Danielle & Jamilah – You two are among the most extraordinary people I know, and watching you run the news section for the past two years has provided some of the best education and inspiration possible. 

Bri – Honestly, you’re the only reason I know how to write news. Without you, i’d still be that barely-capable freshman; without you, there’s no way I’d be able to put out a news section every week. Your help and advice has always been invaluable, and it’s because of you that I’ve been here long enough to even write this goodbye.

Outside of The Outlook, so many people have taken a chance on me. Without them, I wouldn’t have nearly half the opportunities I do now, and it seems like there is no better place to thank them than here, in the paper that opened some of these doors in the first place.

Jennifer T. – Some days, I’m thankful for that giant 2015 snowstorm that meant I finally had the chance to meet you in person – and every other day, I’m thankful that you have made all of my musical-theater-themed dreams come true. I can’t wait to finish work on Volume 4, and here’s to many Christmases to come!

Breen 4Robin D. – Without your kindness, unending support, and constant re-hiring, I probably would spend my summers bored out of my mind. Instead, I get to work with you and learn more and more every day about half a dozen fields at once. Your constant support is so important and literally life-changing for me, and I can never thank you enough for that.

Cheryl Conway – You took a chance on me and gave me my first journalism job, and that internship on my resume was able to open so many doors for me throughout my career. Thank you so much for your unending support – and unending supply of freelance stories.

Breen 5Of course, in addition to my Outlook family, there’s my real family – the people who have been behind me every step of the way and have encouraged me to reach for things that I never thought were options for me. From Salem Drive Elementary School to New York University, you’ve all always been there for me, and that means more than I can ever say.

Mom & Dad – I mean, obviously there’s no way I’d be here without you. Whether it’s supporting my hopelessly addictive theatre habit, dropping me off at the airport for whatever whirlwind trip, or cheering behind me as I embark onto a pretty nerve-wracking career path, you’ve always been there, and you’ve always been on board with almost every crazy idea I’ve had.

Sean – Where would I be without your hugs, your mocking FaceTime calls, your general eleven-year-old perkiness? I might hate to admit it, but we both already know that you’re always my favorite sibling. Shannon and Ryan – you might be annoying, but where would I be without you all?

Susie & Delaney – To Delaney: Thank you for being a bright spot this year! I can’t wait to take you to see your first musical, and to show you around New York. To Susie: Thank you for all of your support, and of course, all of the shared Broadway shows! Here’s to seeing Bernadette Peters soon.

Nanny, Poppy, Grandma, & Grandpa – Again, I would not be here without you and your endless support throughout my entire life. I’m so grateful to have been able to know and love you, and I can’t thank you enough for everything you have done for me. 

Breen 6And of course, thank you to every friend I have had during my time here. Whether we met on campus or at a stage door or years ago, you have all taught me so much, given me so much, and helped me to reach this point in my life. Without you, I would not be the person that I am today, and I would not be doing half of the things I am.

Chrissy – I’m still not entirely sure how we wound up as friends in the first place, but I’m really glad it happened. 

Ashley – Meeting you is probably the only good thing that came from my third-grade cheerleading career.

Both – From middle school to the Melting Pot to grad school applications to wherever we go next, I’m glad that we’ve been together throughout it, and I hope that we stay like that. Thank you for being my best friends, and for always being here (and for the never-ending puppy snapchats).

Chloe – The only person on this campus who truly understands what I mean when I’m talking about musicals; I couldn’t have made it through these past few years without you. Thank you for all your help and all you’ve meant to me, and I can’t wait to see what you do next.

Natalie T. – Even though it seems that we never see each other enough, you’re always one of my closest friends. Any medical school will be lucky to have you, and I can’t wait to share the graduation stage with you in May.

Lauren – You have been the best, most understanding roommate someone could ever ask for. Whether it was Redwood or the Bluffs, you’ve been forever steadfast and reliable, and I wish you all the luck in the world at Villanova.

Breen 7Ryan E. – As I write this, you’re frantically trying to get Illustrator to open on your computer, and granted, this might be the first time we’ve hung out in months, but homework and a cup of tea seems to be the ideal way to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon. We’ve been friends since before freshman year, and while sometimes we may not see each other for a while, I’m glad we never really grew too far apart.

Clara – Speaking of people that I do not get to see enough, you and I really need to get into the city someday. I miss you, but I know you’re killing it at Yale, and I can’t wait to spend the summer gushing about theatre and life with you.

Audra – my second mom, the one always willing to encourage any road trip, no matter how insane. Whether it’s a wild whirlwind trip to Los Angeles or a ridiculously ambitious project, you’ve always encouraged every idea, and convinced me that no matter what happens, it’ll be fine anyway.

Andy – the other part of my crazy trip crew. Whether it was seeing Hedwig or talking about makeup or flying across the country, our hang-outs in New York were some of my favorite parts of my sophomore year, and there are never enough words to thank you for that.

Breen 8And of course, I can’t leave here without mentioning the faculty that got me through this. Whether I spent hours sitting in your offices or just rushed into the department looking for a quote, you’ve all been a major part of my academic career, and I’m so glad that I picked a school with such a caring, dedicated faculty.

From John Morano helping us put out a near-perfect issue every week, to Marina Vujnovic making sure that The Verge is the best publication it can be, the professors here make sure that every extracurricular is a way for students to better themselves and become the best writers possible.

Professors like Kristine Simoes and Lorna Schmidt have prepared me for the ‘real world’ as best as they possibly can, teaching lessons that I would have never learned in any other classroom.

Without Eleanor Novek, my advisor for the past four years, I certainly would not be graduating on time.

Without Johanna Foster, who has probably helped more stories than anyone on this campus, I’m pretty sure I’d never have a full news section, and I certainly wouldn’t have had one of my favorite sociology classes.

This goodbye is the final piece that I’m writing for The Outlook (unless some really breaking news happens). This paper has changed my life in so many ways, and without it, I doubt I would have attended Monmouth in the first place.

Over one hundred published stories later, here we are – and while leaving Monmouth may be hard, there are more newspapers, more adventures, and more life to come.