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So long, and thanks for all the fish

May 5th, 2016

 

 

I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been contemplating what I would write in this final column since I was put on staff as a freshman. Four years of consideration has gone into these words, yet there’s still so much beyond this column that I want to say.

 

Over time, I’ve noticed that many people use this space to impart advice onto readers. At 22 years old, I don’t think I have much sage wisdom to pass on, other than this—enjoy the ride while you can. Once these years are over, they’re over. Savor them, or at least parts of them, while you’re still living them. Andy Bernard of “The Office” once said, “I wish there was a way to know that you’re in ‘the good old days’ before you’ve actually left them.” Heads up: these are the good old days.

 

Also, it’s okay if you don’t feel as if you fit into the expected mold of college students. I have never been into the party scene. I’ve always valued getting to bed at a decent hour rather than staying up long enough to see the sun rise. And, admittedly, readers, I’ve stayed on campus for only three weekends out of my entire collegiate career, and I hated doing it every time. It’s alright to value people and events beyond the hallowed brick buildings of John Carroll—you do you.

 

With what I’ve got left, I’d like to thank a handful of people who have really marked my life and my time here at Carroll.

 

My parents—Mom, thanks for teasing me in high school when I got a mailer from a college I’d never heard of—“some place called John Carroll,” I said at the time. Your teasing started me down the road to four years here. I’m so grateful to have gotten to go to the university previously attended by one of my idols, for whom our communication department is named. Thanks for keeping me stocked in homemade food, since the dining hall food so frequently made me ill or left me with no desire to eat. Dad, thank you for the often grueling car rides back and forth from campus for the weekends. Thanks for helping along my newfound love of vinyls. Thanks for congratulating me when I tanked my first job interview. Thank you for endlessly reminding me that you are proud of me, especially when I can’t be proud of myself.

 

Shay—thank you, baby sister, for pushing me to be the best “me” I can be. It’s a privilege to be your sister. Watching you grow made has me grow in so many ways as a person. There’s nothing in this world I love more than coming home to you.

 

Ri—Thanks for putting countless miles on Sten over the last four years to come and see me at least once a week. Thanks for midnight and 8 a.m. phone calls, countless texts and Skype sessions when I was losing my patience. Thanks for joining me as we ate our way through Cleveland and finding what is, in my opinion, the best sushi in the greater Cleveland area (Ginko, in Tremont, though Sushi 86 downtown is quite good). Thank you for being my endless optimist and for remaining steadfastly by my side through these years.

 

Bob Noll—thanks for convincing me to come to Carroll four years ago and to start writing for the paper. I know many of us have ended up here because of you, and I know we all appreciate you for it; we all owe you for that. Surely, things wouldn’t have been the same without you.

 

Dr. B.—Little do you know that when you first had me as a student in your First Amendment class, I was extremely burnt out and planning on transferring to a different university. Your teaching reminded me that I was where I needed to be. I have so enjoyed having you as a professor and I am utterly grateful for all you’ve done for me.

 

Dan Cooney—Thank you for being such a great Editor-in-Chief, mentor and friend when I first started at the CN. You provided me with such a great model after which to lead my own staff. Know that as I am leaving this place, three years after you did, you made such a huge difference.

 

The CN Staff—I could not have gotten through this year as Editor-in-Chief without the remarkable staff I got to work with every week. You guys are great in so many ways and it was both a privilege and an honor to work alongside you every week.

 

The Op/Ed Team—if there is one section I’ve enjoyed working with most this year, it’s you all. You guys gave me new perspectives on the world each and every week. You have provided me with so many laughs and other emotions throughout all of your columns, points of view, and conversation. Keep it up. Ben, you get an honorable mention here for making “e’swag” a newsroom vocab word.

 

Ryan Brown–you took over the World News section on a whim and have done so beautifully. I’m protective of my old section, so know that I wouldn’t give you credit if you hadn’t earned it.

 

Carly Cundiff—Thanks for starting on the CN as an ultra-dedicated World News writer, who then became my excellent assistant, to becoming one of my replacements at World News, to Campus Editor and now the managing editor. Looking back, I couldn’t be happier with my choice to make you an assistant. You’ll do marvelous things, my dear, and I’m looking forward to watching it.

 

Mary Frances—Thanks for being my Joe Biden, my RBG and my sister in the newsroom. I loved our late night rants about God knows what, our endless laughs, random conversations and everything else. I credit you with being the absolute best managing editor I could have ever asked for, but you are also an amazing friend, and I loved having you at my side this year. I’m so happy you have replaced me, and I know I have left the CN in trustworthy and extremely capable hands.

 

Thanks, of course, to countless other friends, mentors and influences; I am already annoyingly over my word limit, so I can’t thank you all. But hopefully, you know who you are.

 

Thanks to those of you who have read this newspaper, and especially those of you who have read my column and put up with my liberal ranting for four years.

 

Last but, well, probably least—a quick thank you to my high school guidance counselor, who told me I wouldn’t get into a private university, that I wouldn’t get any scholarships and that even if I did, I wouldn’t succeed.

 

Sorry, I can’t make it through even the most sentimental of columns without a little snark.

 

Farewell, John Carroll.