I explicitly remember freshman year, staring at the list of newspaper dates posted on the door of Sisson 319, thinking about how sad it was to see the remaining numbers dwindle. I was a different person then, and my experience in the newsroom every year since has been vastly distinct.
But the staff has always been family. I know this because even when they don’t love me back, I still love them. Growing up, I had the Warriors family, my brother’s travel baseball team, but I was always envious because that was much more his experience than my own. I wanted to belong somewhere, too.
This is my 84th paper with the Bradley Scout. I think it’s safe to say my passion for writing led me to a place where I do belong.
First and foremost, I have to thank my family. To my late Papa, who used to tease me about the Trib scouting me straight from college, I love and miss you daily. Grandma, thank you for always believing in me as well, as evident by my first article with the dreaded “& SCOUT STAFF” byline framed in your home.
To my most faithful readers: my parents. My father, who is a very intelligent man in his own right: thank you for doing everything in pursuit of making sure I’m happy and educated. My mother, who is the most selfless woman I know: thank you for teaching me how to write. I am forever indebted to you both. And Scott, who I know has never given a damn about reading a single thing I’ve written, unless of course, it was an essay I wrote for him: I still love you.
Thank you, Nikki, for making my transition into college so smooth by being the greatest freshman year roommate a girl could ask for. When we reflect on our days in U Hall it feels like ages ago, but at the same time our time pursuing the glory of higher education truly did fly by.
Thank you, Kristin, for allowing me to follow you around like a puppy dog during my freshman year. When Sam wrote on my Facebook wall approving of what would be my first-ever Voice article, I know you were responsible for convincing her to allow me to join staff. Both of you will forever be my role models and single-handedly made my Bradley experience worth it.
Thank you to Alpha Chi Omega for allowing me to unapologetically be myself without fear of judgment and for letting me use chapter as a platform to practice some colorful commentary (as if you had a choice).
Thank you, Jenna, for making LA the best experience and proving it’s never too late in your collegiate life to make a best friend. Our shared love for all things music, movies, books and writing has fostered a mutual respect for one another, and we can always count on each other to stay out partying at all hours of the night.
I’d also like to thank the communications department for allowing the third floor of the GCC to feel like home. You are all a bunch of characters and deserve your own sitcom.
To everyone I didn’t explicitly name, but who have endured my outbursts, my impulsiveness, my ugly days – thank you. Unlike many of my peers, I don’t have a crazy freshman year to reflect on. I consistently have wild moments from each of my four years here, which will serve as material for my standup in the near future.
Many of those moments are from within the Scout office, where over the four years I’ve gotten to witness people come out of their shells and find a genuine love for writing the history of this school, no matter how menial the event. It’s a beautiful thing, and these diverse humans are beautiful. Much love to all.
I also feel the need to touch on my genuine love for school. My eyes well up when I think about never again participating in discussions, executing creative projects or taking an exam. I remember each and every one of my teachers from the five lovely institutions I attended, and I can’t help but marvel at how long of a life it seems I have lived.
When you’re in junior high, college students seem so grown, and you think you have everything figured out. Nostalgia and uncertainty are a common thread amongst all senior columns, yet we all had different experiences. I’m even prideful of a lot of my less ideal moments, such as probably writing the most pieces to warrant letters to the editor. Life itself just seems crazy, but I digress.
My all-time favorite phrase, which will be inscribed on my graduation cap, is “Have a life.” I may not have gained any unworldly insights, or am even remotely certain about my identity and what my future self has in store, but I am not so naïve to be incapable of recognizing the fact that life is a fickle bitch. People love to say, “have a nice life,” but it’s unrealistic. Life will have its ups and downs, so the only thing I wish for those I love is to “have a life,” in all of its glory.