Move It to the Exits, I Hope You Have Found a Friend

alexis_sanfranThe past few weeks I have just been looking forward to warmer weather and some free time.  I have almost been too busy to get nostalgic or sentimental about my years at Monmouth… and then I started writing this article. I remember thinking that I would never graduate eight grades – that time was a figment of my imagination.

When I got to high school I felt the same way, but when I graduated I was relieved that the next four years of my life were already planned out. Now here I am, weeks before graduation and no yearlong plans set in stone, no time allotted safety net. Realizing I am about to finish my last full week of classes as a college undergrad puts a knot in my stomach.

I have had a vast amount of personal growth over the past four years here.  There are a number of people I would like to take the time to thank:

There are a lot of people who have helped me get to where I am today, and I am grateful for each one of you.  

First would be my family. My father: for encouraging me to pick a profession based on my passion and not the paycheck, and for being a prime example of just that. For stressing the importance of education, no matter the cost, and making sure I had a strong foundation for my future. Although one of his biggest regrets was knowing that he would not live long enough to see me graduate college, I have a sense of pride and accomplishment knowing that in just 23 short days, I will walk across the stage of the PNC Bank Arts Center in my cap and gown. 

My mother and my sister: for being the strongest support system and the best friends a girl could ask for.  Mom, you are my rock and the world’s most awesome woman alive. I am so lucky to have such a close bond and great friendship with you.  Thank you for letting me call you up to ten times a day just to say “hello” or just because I feel like it. Nicole, I cannot believe that you used to hate me and wanted to be an only child. Thank you for realizing how awesome I am and always having my back.

My brother and his family: For calming me down, helping me to relax, and making me realize that I do not need to have my entire life figured out right after graduation. That graduation does not mean my life is over, but that it has just started and people would kill to be in my position. For supporting me no matter what career path I choose to pursue, even if I want to join the circus.

Professor Morano: Words cannot express how grateful I am for everything you have taught me.  I realized while taking your “Introduction to Journalism” class that I picked the right major. I understand that the times you have pushed me only mean you think I am capable of more. Thank you for always believing in your students, for being a wonderful advisor, and for always being patient with me when I burst into your office without an appointment, hyperventilating about a certain assignment or problem I am having.

aexisTo all of my professors whose class I was ever enrolled in:  I have learned something valuable from all of you.  Thank you for all that you do. You do not get enough credit or appreciation for the difference you make in this world. I feel like the professors, particularly in the Communication department, have gotten to know my personality and I have never felt like just another nameless face in a sea of students.

My friends at home (Corey, Chelsea, Jessica, and Jillian): for understanding that my work load and stress levels are the reason why I have been a hermit... and waiting patiently for me to graduate so we can hang out again. You are the weirdest, craziest girls I have ever gotten to know with the most distinct personalities of any group I have ever been a part of and I would not change anything about any one of you. You are the most beautiful girls I know, inside and out. I am insanely blessed to have you ladies in my life, friends like you are hard to find.

Nick: My whole Outlook experience started with you, so I cannot thank you enough.  I am disappointed we did not become friends earlier since we have the same taste in music and television shows, who else can carry on an hour-long argument on My Chemical Romance albums?  Or talk conspiracy theories with Clutter? I had a blast serving as your assistant editor last semester and think we work well as a team.  I am going to miss all of your random thoughts, quotations, and unique logic on everything.  You are super easy to get along with and I can never predict anything you are going to say.  Any staff will be lucky to have an employee like you to bring humor and great energy to the team.

Brett: You have forever changED the way I look at the English language. Meeting you let me experience what life would be like if I hAD younger brother… and made me thank my parents that I am the youngest.  I know we constantly rag on each other, well, you constantly rag on me, but I know it is because we are so close.  I can’t imagine working in an environment without the person next to me mocking my voice, laugh and mannerisms (among other things), poking or throwing things at me, or screaming random words in my ear. I am still available for venting/ADvice giving/problem solving chats after grADuation.  You stress way too much about things you shouldn’t – but that just means you care that much.  You are going to do an amazing job wherever you are hirED, so relax!  Thank you for being a great leADer and an even better friend. See? I was sentimental... you thought I was going to call you an ASShole, didn’t you?

Kelly: Also known as AD Girl, Ad that Girl, ATG, GTA, but we’ll stop there. I have learned so much about you over the past year. Thank you for being the only one who would come see Titanic 3D (our first date) with me… and enjoy it. You are one of the strongest people and hardest workers that I have ever met and I am convinced you are indestructible.  You are amazing at what you do and Starbucks should pay you for your advertising skills since you have converted the whole office into frappuccino addicts.

Maggie: You are one in a million.  I am truly going to miss you next year.  You are the sweetest person on the staff and I am so glad I have had the chance to become friends with you.  You have given my abdominals a work out on multiple occasions and made me cry from laughing so hard. You know how to lighten any somber mood without even trying just by being yourself.  I have nothing but good things to say about you. I promise I will visit you and the girls next year!

Jackie: You are by far one of the funniest girls I have ever met. I am so lucky to have met you in Italy over the summer. You tell the funniest stories and are one of the most welcoming and friendliest people on the staff. No matter what, you can make any staff member in the office smile and make a joke out of any stressful situation. Congratulations on your internship at Redbook Magazine and on taking over the position as Editor-in-Chief. Enjoy your year in the throne and push the paper to even greater heights, I know you have it in you and will do an amazing job.

Ed: Morlock the Warlock. It was established earlier this year that we are the male and female version of each other; it goes without saying you’re a pretty cool kid. You are hysterical and I know I can count on you to finish any “Boy Meets World” quote I choose to randomly recite.  “What’s Eric’s favorite fish?” “PENGUIN!”

Jenna: My only wish was that you weren’t in Italy for the fall semester so we could have hung out more! You are fiercely motivated and your talents will take you far. I love reading your travel blog, so don’t stop writing it. You are the cutest little nugget and always make me laugh.  Thank you for laughing at all my corny jokes and random thoughts about mundane topics.

Casey: I’m so glad you have come out of our shell since the beginning of the semester. You have some of the greatest one-liners I have ever heard. I will miss getting stuck in the Wilson hall elevators with you twice a week. Thank you for choosing to be seen with me in public and sitting next to me in class, even after I slipped on a single drop of water in the Plangere lobby, am a constant mess on the way to class, and have no idea how to operate an umbrella.

Orlando: The future President of the United States of America.  The world needs more people as sweet and genuine as you.  Thank you for always offering to help me with anything I needed and defending me when Brett would just make fun of me.  I have no doubt that you will continue to bring great ideas and a great work ethnic into the office next year. 

Alyssa: Loud one. You have the most amazing lung capacity of anyone I have ever come across.  I’m so glad I have been lucky enough to see you grow as a staff member this year.  You are an amazing artist with increasing journalistic talent. You are such a hard worker and I know that you will come up with some spectacular questions for viewpoint. And if people don’t answer or want to get their picture taken I know you will combat their failed compliance with, “NOBODY ASKED YOU!”

Nicole: You are the most laid back and down to earth girl I know with the most unique taste in television shows, music and movies.  I loved reading your reviews, no matter subject you were writing about. You are an amazing entertainment editor and I know you will do well in the future.

Alex: My fedora fiend.  You were always willing to help me with any of my InDesign errors and I thank you for that.  I can always count on you to make a scientific or literary-rooted joke and then have you explain it to me.  I wish you the best of luck on your novel, I know it will be fabulous and I still want a signed copy.

Nana: You are the most normal Outlook staff member and I thank you for accepting us the way we are.  Have an amazing time in London, I hope you continue to write and edit when you return home.

Evelyn: My Puerto Rican mama.  You are truly a breath of fresh air.  You have an amazing outlook on life and are always upfront and honest, the world needs more people like you.  Thank you for always being a positive person, offering help whenever it was needed, and teaching me to stand up for myself.

Sandy: The office would fall apart without you and you are always there for any member of the staff.  Thank you for all that you do, your hard work does not go unnoticed.

Angela: The savior of the back page.  We were in trouble when Netta left and you came into the office at the perfect time to save us.

alexis_skydivingItaly: Hands down the best month of my life.  I am so lucky that I was able to travel with such as awesome group of people and get along with all of you so well. This trip changed my outlook on life and how I want to live it.  I love that you all were part of such a special time in my life.

Sarah: I still mean it when I say I cannot have hand picked a better roommate to study abroad with. We clicked instantly.  Some of my favorite memories are times I have spent with you; like our weekend trip to Elba Island and skydiving in Switzerland. I’m bummed we don’t see each other anymore, but we always agreed that people are brought into our lives for a reason, even if they don’t stay forever. I know you are the reason I had such a blast in Italy.

My McLoone’s Crew:  for accepting my odd, quirky, and awkward personality and quickly letting me into the family.  You make 12-hour shifts and entire weekends stuck at work bearable, and I look forward to spending the summer with you all. 

It’s hard to believe that I almost didn’t attend Monmouth University. But as cliché as it sounds, I believe that everything happens for a reason. Everyone that I have ever met at Monmouth has made an impact on me some way, and I am forever thankful. I am proud of the person I am today and the person that I continue to become.  I will have nothing but good memories to look back on after graduation. In the words of Mr. Feeney, “Believe in yourselves. Dream. Try. Do good... I love you all, class dismissed.”