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Senior Column: Ashley Bastock

April 30th, 2015

 

 

My time at John Carroll University has been somewhat unexpected. I’ve learned more, both in the classroom and outside of it, than I ever could have imagined. I’ve made friends, I’ve lost friends and now I’m about to begin on a completely different journey entirely.

 

I set a personal goal for myself when I first came to JCU. For an 18-year-old, it was rather lofty. Most journalism students pick this path knowing it will most likely not lead to a job immediately after graduation, but it is my pleasure to represent John Carroll in a position that holds the namesake of my all-time favorite journalist as the seventh Meet the Press Tim Russert Fellow.

 

In just a matter of weeks I will pack my bags and move to Washington, D.C. In an even a shorter amount of time, I will pack my bags from my apartment and say goodbye to this JCU chapter in my life.

 

In my opinion, goodbyes are usually filled with two things: thanks and advice. I’m 22 years old. I have yet to live in the real world, so I don’t feel that I am qualified to dispense advice to the rest of my fellow students. Instead, I would like to take this space to say thank you to those who have helped me get to this point in my life.

 

I would be remiss if I didn’t first thank my family. I truly wouldn’t be where I am today without them, and had they not been so supportive of my dreams and goals, I know achieving my goal of being a journalist would have been much more difficult.

 

To the staff at this paper, thank you for accepting me with open arms and treating me as one of your own this past year. In particular, thank you to former managing editor

 

Joe Ginley for convincing me to become a staff writer in the first place, and sports editor Jake Hirschmann for letting me be his partner in crime this past year. I could not have asked for a better person to work with.

 

I’ve also had the distinct pleasure of working at both WJCU and JCTV4. I would like to thank all the other students I worked with in these organizations, especially Dave Schillero, who was a fantastic sports director this past year at WJCU, and always willing to do a broadcast at the drop of a hat.

 

Thank you to all of my professors and mentors. I spent a lot of time in the Communication Department and will be forever grateful for all the lessons I learned about the media and journalism. Just as importantly, I would like to thank the four political science professors I had, Dr. Birch, Dr. Swearingen, Dr. Mason and Professor Schiavoni, as without them I wouldn’t have the wide ranging knowledge I do about politics to even be qualified for this job ahead.

 

Thank you to my advisers at our three student media organizations. It’s been great getting to know Bob Noll, Mark Krieger and Lisa Lewis over these past four years, and much like the students, they accepted me with open arms. They also pushed me to be my best. To Lisa especially, you have basically become my JCU mom. Thank you for always being a safe haven, an advice giver, a shoulder to lean on and everything in between.

 

Thank you to every boss at every internship I have ever had. In each way, you helped me get to this end goal and I am forever indebted. I mean, how many college kids get to talk to LeBron James consistently? You all made that possible for me.

 

Thank you to anyone who doubted me or my work – you only pushed me further.

 

Finally, to the John Carroll women’s basketball team and alumni: You are my best friends and my family. Through everything I did at JCU, the majority of my memories relate to basketball. Our team is a special place, and was to me for three years. Not playing this past year was one of the most difficult times of my life. Together we were a part of something special. And to Coach Morrone, thank you for being such a motivational influence in my life, and always pushing me. For the rest of my life, I will go out there and give everyone “40 minutes of hell.”

 

There are many of you I could list by name, but as you can tell, I’m running out of space. If you’ve watched, listened to, or read my work, thank you.

I said I wasn’t going to give advice, but here’s one small piece: Make sure to thank those who have helped you along your own personal journey. It has been a wild ride, JCU. Thanks for everything.