A successful fifth grade writing assignment led my English teacher to read out my story to the class, encouraging me to continue writing. From then on, I knew I wanted to be a journalist.
Since my childhood and until now, I am fascinated with the way words can paint a picture and have the power to emotionally move someone. In high school I had people discourage me from journalism, suggesting I move on to a less competitive career with a secure income. Little did they know, I was already on my way to chasing my dream.
I arrived at Monmouth University certain of my love for writing and pursued studies centered around communication and marketing. Through my classes, HawkTV, and hosting a radio show on WMCX, I realized I had a passion for media as well. Nonetheless, senior year I decided to return back to my writing roots and began submitting more articles to The Outlook. I am forever grateful to have been a part of a not just a club but a team of creative, kind, and talented writers. It was during this semester that my responsibilities at the student-run newspaper went from contributing writer to being the entertainment editor.
Dr. Marina Vujnovic, current advisor of The Outlook, is an asset to the paper and a great resource to the writers— I am incredibly grateful for all her support. Thank you also to last spring’s editor-in-chief, Abigail Brooks, and current editor-in-chief, Isabella Hanna, for trusting me with the entertainment section and making The Outlook feel like a community. I truly could not have asked for a better group of writers to work alongside during my last semester at Monmouth. I know each and every one of the editors are destined to do great things. I look forward to following their weekly stories, which will continue to represent students’ voices at Monmouth University.
I would also like to shoutout my closest friends, who have made sure we stayed laughing since freshman year, especially Ryan Woods, Vinnie Negri, Hayden Shugart, and Matt Goranites. We did it. I am immensely proud of how far we have come and can’t wait to come back to cheer those I am leaving behind as you walk across that stage in May.
Everything I do, I do for my parents. My parents did not get the proper education they wanted and deserved, but they always worked hard to allow me and my sister to have a life they only dreamed about for themselves. Although they never graduated from a university, my mom and dad are the most hardworking, dedicated, intelligent, and selfless people I know. Being the last daughter to graduate, we can finally say we did it.
College has presented me with plenty of struggles, but I only now realize how they shaped me. From balancing unpaid internships, part-time jobs, experiencing sleepless nights, taking 21 credits, keeping up with my assignments, and waking up before the sun rises to commute to and from New York City, I pushed myself to do it all and more because I was dedicated. At the end of it all, I won’t forget the resilience and strength that I’ve grown into on my own over the years. Of course, I also won’t forget all that effort that went into landing my dream internship at CNBC, which was an experience that only made me more certain of my career.
Three and a half years later, I fought from start to finish to get to where I am now, having had some of the most life-changing experience while at Monmouth.
Thank you to my friends and my family who truly supported and celebrated with me through it all.
WE did it!