I admit it is difficult to put into words the mixed emotions that come with graduating. However, it is with excitement and yet an indescribable amount of sadness that I write my senior goodbye.
My undergraduate years at Monmouth University are finally over, and despite the tumultuous journey, I shall always remember it with utter fondness. My undergraduate years came with priceless lessons, faculty I will be always grateful for, and friends I will cherish.
Firstly, writing for The Outlook from my freshman year to my senior year was an honor. I got to share with Monmouth University faculty, staff and students the things that most matter to me. Social media representation of minority groups, diversity in literature and TV, social and educational culture on campus, among many other articles that highlight my values as a writer.
Here, I’ve expanded my skills as a writer, found my voice, and became comfortable with sharing my thoughts with strangers across campus.
I’d like to thank my sisters of Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Incorporated for supporting me and teaching me that there is very little I can’t achieve. The encouragement of my sisters is invaluable, and the love, unity and respect is palpable through every one of you. I know this goodbye is fairly short as I will see you all again, for our lovely organization is a lifetime commitment.
The Intercultural Center bred many of my ideas for The Outlook. There, I was inspired to write about what most matters to me, even when I was experiencing writer’s block. I know the Intercultural Center and EOF will continue to be the home for first-generation, minority students who feel lost on campus. I will always be thankful for the welcoming and supportive space Dr. Z and Jihad created not only for me, but for my peers whom I’ve grown to love.
EOF was also home away from home. Even before I started my undergraduate path, we spent weeks over the summer acclimating to the college environment. This was one of many things EOF had done for me. They taught me self advocacy, and that it is okay to ask for help. They provided guidance when I felt lost and lonely, until I finally found my place here and soared through my undergrad.
The EOF friends I have made on the way, as we all shared the difficult experiences of attending a PWI, changed the course of my life. Their support, reliability, and friendship have made my undergraduate experience unforgettable.
I cannot thank my Professor and Advisor Alena Graedon, Dr. Estes, and Dr. Gac-Artigas enough for making me a better, well-rounded person. Their compassion, constant encouragement and belief in me helped me overcome self-doubt. Your support in and out of the classroom has fostered in me the confidence I need to pursue my passions, and taught me that my best is good enough. A special thank you to Dr. Del Guercio for making Shakespeare such a fun read, and continiously checking up on me throughout the semester by email or phone call.
Overall, my experience with the faculty and staff at Monmouth University— specially the English Department— has been nothing but wonderful. Every professor I’ve had the pleasure of working with has taught me a valuable lesson I carry in my personal life or in my future career.
Writing Services was a huge part of my undergraduate career; there, I applied all the feedback and lessons I was learning as an English Major, and helped my peers become better writers themselves. My time at Writing Services taught me how to help in a way that was productive long-term, which is a lesson that transcends my undergraduate years. Therefore, I could not write a senior goodbye without thanking Dr. Fury for being such an incredible, understanding Professor and Director. I also want to thank Sharon Botwinick for creating a welcoming, encouraging environment.
After receiving an email from Dr. Blair, I applied to my internship at Wunderkind PR and was accepted. There, I applied all I had learned as an English Major, Writing Assistant, Entertainment Editor, and more. Working as a publicity intern taught me more about the field than I ever imagined.
But above all, working with an understanding, hard working team of women was life-changing. I have found a passion for publicity, and expanded my adoration for literature. I’ve also gotten to work with titles that I truly connect with, such as books on mental health and BIPOC characters. Therefore, I’d like to thank Wunderkind PR’s co-founder Tanya Farrell, and my publicist liaison Emily Afifi.
Lastly, is a huge thank you to the friends and peers I have made in my time here. Nicholas Salcedo, Kayla Kennedy, Kamea Rodgers, Fradely Delacruz, Yesenia Luna, Alexa Rodriguez, Destiny Montgomery, Lissette Pena, Jessica Pak, Johnny Reyes, Gabe Vega, and so many more of you.
When I think of you all, I am speechless and yet burst with gratefulness and adoration. The way you have all been there for my ups and downs proves that friendship, mutual empowerment and support can overcome pretty much anything. I love you all, and leave knowing I will see more of you as you all accomplish great things. For many of you, I will see again as I spend another two years on campus for my graduate studies.
Recently, I have been accepted into the School Counseling Masters Program here at Monmouth. Meaning that this is all a goodbye to my undergraduate years, a goodbye to a facet of my life and a celebration of something more to come. I am excited to experience Monmouth as a graduate student, and to continue building the relationships I have built.
Overall, my time here has been filled with ups and downs. There were times when I doubted myself, and moments where— as many of you can understand— I experienced a mental health low that hurt beyond belief. But it is the people that make this place extremely special to me, that made those lows tolerable. These are also the people which is encourage me and make me glad I will spend another two years at Monmouth.
I look forward to the faculty I will be working with, such as Dr. Vernon Smith and Dr. Bobbitt, and the peers I will meet during my graduate years. I would also like to thank my family, specially my mother and brother, for encouraging me and never doubting that I could do it. For going with me on a self-growth journey that has brought us much closer. You all, faculty, family and friends, have made me a better version of myself, and I cannot thank you enough. Thank you to all, and until next time.