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An Ode to My Final Chapter

by Lauren Lamantia

I was first introduced to The Montclarion in my news and reporting class with Professor Tara George, where I met my first friend at Montclair State University, Kelvin Jimenez. Professor George told us there was a newspaper meeting for The Montclarion after class and we should stick around for it.

With nervous hands and clinging to each other’s side in a room full of people we did not know yet, we were both instantly intrigued. After the meeting, we parted ways, finding separate interests in the news and copy editing sections.

I approached the copy editing section with the intention of experiencing the world of journalism and being among English majors who wanted to read, edit and be in a newsroom. In a split second, I met Jen Losos and asked if she would like an assistant on the copy team. In that moment, I wish I could go back and tell myself just how much The Montclarion would become a part of my college experience.

When I entered Montclair State in the fall of 2019 as a transfer student, I did not know where it would take me. As an English major and journalism minor, I was exposed to two different worlds of writing and enjoyed the combination greatly. One could truly say I had the best of both worlds.

The Montclarion helped me develop my voice as a journalist and writer, as well as appreciate being behind the scenes in a newsroom environment with editorial staff and members. Through each article that crossed the copy editors’ desk, it was an honor to see the many voices of writers in each section, only making me adore being on the copy editing team more and more as the years went by.

With this experience, I am thankful that I spent my undergraduate years at Montclair State, as I would not have had the experience of learning there academically while being part of a team that further led me to discover myself.

This being said, I cannot help but express gratitude to those whom I have met on my journey and who have supported me.

To Jen Losos, thank you for pushing me to join The Montclarion from the very beginning of my days at Montclair State. I would not have been able to experience growing from a copy assistant to co-chief copy editor at The Montclarion if it wasn’t for your constant support and encouragement over the years.

To Brooke Alvine and Nathaly Martinez, it has been such a pleasure to work with you both at The Montclarion and build such an amazing copy team. I wish you both all the best in your future. To the rest of the copy team and the rest of the staff, I hope you continue to have an incredible experience at The Montclarion like I did.

To Thomas Neira, I cannot thank you enough for your constant kindness and understanding during the switch from being in person at school to doing classes and The Montclarion online. Your consideration of what your coworkers were facing outside of the workplace did not go unnoticed, and for that, I will always be grateful I had you as a leader.

To my Italian sister Rosaria Lo Presti, it has been such a wonderful experience working with you and building a friendship during our time together. I am greatly looking forward to summers in Italy, writing away as the wind blows through our hair and we smile reflecting on our time spent at The Montclarion.

Lastly to Tara George, thank you for encouraging me to go to that Montclarion meeting, leading me to where I am today. Throughout the time I have spent taking classes with you since 2019, you have made me challenge my capabilities more and experiment with different writing styles, making me a better writer.

As I close my chapter at Montclair State, I reflect on what I have been taught and have learned throughout my journey. Although it was not the story I originally had planned, this final chapter was just as memorable.

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