Saying goodbye is never easy. Normally, you don’t get to do it twice. On this rare occasion, I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to do just that. I wrote my first senior goodbye last year, but it was really more of a “see you later” because I knew I would be returning this year as a Graduate Assistant. Although I was parting ways with my roles as News Editor and Editor-in-Chief, my time in the newsroom was far from over. Now, one year later, my college journalism career is finally coming to a close and it’s time for my real goodbye.
I found The Outlook during my freshman year as a journalism major who didn’t know much about journalism. I knew that I liked to write and that was about it. I’m fortunate that someone saw something in me and was able to give me a push in the right direction, because I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I truly owe my entire career at The Outlook to Professor John Morano, who encouraged me to start submitting my work from his classes for publication. It wasn’t long before I started taking on story assignments outside of what I was completing for class. Before I knew it, I was asked to be News Editor and eventually Editor-in-Chief. I went from not knowing that The Outlook even existed to basically living in the newsroom for the better part of my college career, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Any Outlook editor will tell you that it takes a certain kind of person to do what we do. It’s a very demanding job that gets nowhere near enough recognition, and that can be a hard reality to face sometimes. We make mistakes, but that doesn’t negate the time and effort that goes into doing what we do. At the end of the day, we’re all students who are still learning how to be journalists. When we mess up, we grow from it and we do better next time. It’s not easy work, but there’s something about it that keeps all of us coming back every week. Being a college journalist is probably one of the most demanding but rewarding things I’ve ever done. I’m heartbroken that there is no “next week” for me this time, but all good things must come to an end.
I never would have ended up where I am today without the initial push from Professor Morano – Prof., I can never thank you enough for doing that for me. I also owe a special thanks to Dr. Marina Vujnovic for going out of her way each and every week to check all of the sections and make sure everything is up to par. Having your help in the newsroom made a world of difference, especially during my first few weeks as Editor-in-Chief when I had no clue how to use InDesign (Those were some very late nights). You truly are the backbone of The Outlook – there’s no way we could do this without you. I would also like to thank Dr. Catherine Duckett for teaching me that nothing is more newsworthy than the climate crisis and pushing for the coverage of climate-related content in The Outlook. As journalists, we’re nothing if we aren’t held accountable for what we are, or sometimes more importantly aren’t, publishing.
Thanks to all of the amazing writers and editors I’ve had the privilege of working with over these past four years. We’ve gone through the highest of highs and the lowest of lows together, but I’m grateful for all of it because it’s shaped me into the person I am today. I’m sad to be moving on, but it’s time for me to pass the torch along and let the next generation of The Outlook take over.
Above all else, I’d like to thank my family for their constant support and unwavering belief in me, especially during times when I didn’t believe in myself. Mom, Dad, Nan, and Moe – these past four years wouldn’t have been possible without you. Zach and Charlotte, thanks for holding down the fort while I’ve been gone.
Jake, thank you for keeping me sane and being my voice of reason throughout this whole journey. In times when I wanted to crumble under the pressure, you kept me going and reminded me what I’m capable of. Knowing how much you hate to read, I’m very honored that you always kept up with my stories and got just as excited as I did for my best ones.
My biggest advice: do what you love and appreciate it while you have it. Life’s too short to pass up those opportunities, so take them while they’re still there. As stressed as I was when I was writing two, three, and even four stories every week, I’m glad I never turned down an opportunity to write because it’s what I love to do. Life is short, but your time at Monmouth is even shorter – don’t waste it.