Last updateFri, 08 May 2020 6pm


So Long, Monmouth | Nicholas Coscarelli's Senior Goodbye

default article imageIf anyone told me that I would be finishing my last year at Monmouth University during a global pandemic, I would never believe them. Four years ago, when I was graduating from high school, I was assured that I was going to Brown University’s Warren Alpert pre-medical program. Monmouth was frankly my last choice; I didn’t even want to apply and I’ve tried to transfer twice. I never realized that each time I tried, I was competing with destiny. And now I know that I was meant to be here at Monmouth all along.

My four years at Monmouth have been the most transformative of my life. I’ve changed my major three times, and changed my hair twice as many times as that; I fell in love and got my heart broken; spent countless nights reviewing for exams and finishing class assignments. Though time has come and gone, one thing has remained: my appreciation for it all. While these years have been the most unexpected, often tempestuous, of my life; they were also the most rewarding and exciting. As I soon begin my transition into graduate school, I know that my time at Monmouth has prepared me well, for both academics and life generally.

To the Departments I’ve made a home with at Monmouth: From Chemistry and English, to Political Science and Sociology, thank you all for the incredible guidance and abundance of knowledge you have granted me through my undergraduate career. In particular, thank you to Dr. Yana Kholod for shaping my experience as a first-year chemistry student, and offering an opportunity for me to work as one of your research assistants so early on. Thank you to Dr. Sue Starke, Dr. Abha Sood, and Dr. Lisa Vetere for both the didactic and transformative memories, and for cementing my passions for literature, writing, and critical thinking. Thank you, Professor Lorna Schmidt for the skills you have equipped me with in your Critical Discourse class; as well as for all the chocolates and teas while I was staying late in Plangere working on the newspaper. Thank you to Dr. Rekha Datta and Dr. Saliba Sarsar for your unsurpassed devotion during my final two years as a student of political science. Likewise, thank you to Dr. Joe Patten for endless laughs, conversations, and gum. Dr. Ken Mitchell, thank you for your patience listening to my arguments and histrionics, and all the lessons that came from them. Thank you to Sarah O’Connor for keeping our Department running; I am grateful for our small talks and big discussions, and for getting to know you as both a colleague and a friend. Finally, thank you to my mentors and gender-studies sisters: Dr. Johanna Foster, Dr. Jen McGovern, Dr. Katie Parkin, and Dr. Corey Wrenn. All of you have molded me into the student and man I am today in uniquely special ways. I am thankful for each and every one of you.

To the Honors School: While I did not initially intend to be a part of the Honors School when entering Monmouth, I look back now in gratitude that I did. Being a part of this community on campus has been so rewarding, and I am thankful for all the opportunities it has given me. Thank you to Dr. Walter Greason and the incomparable Reenie Menditto for making this transition so seamless my junior year. Thank you to the incredible Kate Sosnowski for the countless laughs and memories. And thank you to Dr. Nancy Mezey for your guidance; I will always look back in fondness on our thought-provoking and enduring conversations, as well as all the Tupperware of Gourmet foods.

To The Outlook newspaper: One of the most fulfilling experiences I had during my time at Monmouth has been working as a contributing writer and becoming an Editor at the University’s newspaper. In this capacity, I have been able to pursue my passion of writing and advocacy—covering important events on campus, politics, and expressing myself through words. I have had the opportunity to interview two of our Presidents and our former Provost on an issue that is so significant to me: my fellow students and how we can come together to improve this already outstanding community and propel us even further. As such, I have received both praise and backlash on several accounts of my writing; but that in and of itself is what I admire most about this place, our freedom to express ourselves and give voice to our values. I am incredibly thankful to our paper’s advisor, Professor John Morano, and our unrivaled graduate assistants Brianna McCabe and Danielle Schipani for their enduring commitment to this newspaper and everything it stands for. And to our outstanding Office Coordinator, Tarra, thank you for always being our office-mom; I will miss our laughs and times watching House Hunters together in the conference room!

To the Alumni Association: As I now transition from a current student to a Monmouth alum, I look back in gratitude to this organization. I am so proud to have served as both President of the Student-Alumni Association and as a student representative to the Alumni Board. Having the opportunity to contribute to the legacy of our University has been so rewarding. Special thanks to Amanda Klaus, Laura MacDonald, Elaine Ponterio, Kristin Waring, and Lindsay Wood for your dedication and passion of keeping this family of alumni together. Thank you for listening to my ideas, sharing your thoughts and insight, and guiding me along my way these past three years together. I am confident you all will continue making Monmouth great, and I hope to continue to help any way I can now as an alum myself.

To my Best Friends: I have always been a social butterfly, and meeting new people is one of my favorite parts of life—it’s the Aquarius in me. However, in particular, four friendships stand out to me the most. First and foremost, to Nicole Riddle. I cannot put into words how grateful I am for fate bringing us together. Thank you for the countless memories, laughs, and moments of comfort and support. Growing together beside you as a person these two years has been the most powerfully transformative times of my life. To Kerry Breen, while you left shoes for me that I can never fill here at Monmouth, I am so grateful to you for passing your expertise down to me as an Editor, and as a person. I never could have guessed that a squabble over putting potatoes into a crockpot recipe would turn into an enduring friendship; but I’m glad it did. To Caroline Mattise, I couldn’t ask for a better person to parade around Red Bank with. Thank you for all the memories we share; your contagious laugh has always made my day. More importantly though, thank you for trusting me enough to open up about yourself. Watching you grow into the woman you are today is so heartening, and I admire your confidence. Your impact on campus as a trailblazing, gay athlete is exactly what the world needs more of. To Chloe Barone, as I look back at all my positions here at Monmouth, I couldn’t help but wonder that being the Miranda to your Carrie has been one of my favorites. Thank you for the memorable times here on campus and in California. I look forward to more in the future. And finally, I am most thankful for my relationships that have faded. Not because I wanted them to, but because they have been among the most impactful and insightful. I will always look back at them in fondness and appreciation, exactly for that reason.

To Myself: While this might not be the outcome you had expected, it was the one that had been uniquely destined for you. As you look back on these four years, think about all the memories and relationships you’ve made. The ones that have opened you up to things that are new and exciting have brought you far from where you started; the ones that are old and familiar have brought up lots of changes. But the most exciting, challenging, and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. You have had success and setbacks, but you should never look at them with regret because they’ve made you into who you are today. Our mistakes are what make our fate; without them, what would shape our lives? As you begin this new chapter in your life’s book, remind yourself of the importance of the previous pages. Place a bookmark in your favorite ones, and underline the hardest parts, so you can look back at how much you’ve grown since—always knowing you are ready to meet the next challenge.

Growing up, my late grandfather would always say, “So long!” I’d ask him why he never just said “goodbye,” and he told me because he wants to see me again; goodbye is permanent, but so long means until we meet again, he explained. So in that spirit: So long, Monmouth!

Contact Information

The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu