Home Opinion If It Can Happen to Me, It Can Happen to You

If It Can Happen to Me, It Can Happen to You

by Thomas Neira

My time at The Montclarion began by coincidence. I spent the first semester of my freshman year doing absolutely nothing. I drove to campus, went to class, made a few friends and drove back home just to do it again the next day.

I aimed to change that the following semester by getting more involved on campus, but I had no idea how. My friend told me she wanted to go to the first Montclarion meeting of the semester but didn’t want to go alone. As I was somewhat curious about the student newspaper and had nothing better to do, I volunteered to accompany her.

After meeting some of the staff and speaking with the entertainment editor at the time, Robert O’Conner, I decided to begin writing film reviews. I wrote a handful that semester and had a lot of fun doing so, but I didn’t consider progressing beyond that.

The following semester found me becoming assistant entertainment editor and the entertainment editor soon after. At that point, I didn’t see myself moving up more, but of course, life had to prove me wrong once again.

I moved up to managing editor and now I sit here at my desk typing out this farewell in my final week as editor-in-chief of The Montclarion, an organization I joined by chance years ago. I can definitively tell you now that I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything.

From the minute I entered my first meeting, the hospitality and friendliness of the staff were overwhelming. The closer I got to my peers, the more I realized this was more than a news organization. The Montclarion is a family, and I’m grateful for everyone who has helped me feel so welcomed and wanted from the very beginning.

I want to thank my family and friends for the support and for reading all my articles. I always felt weird about sharing my work with others, but you went out of your way to ask to see it. Even if it didn’t seem like it, it meant the world to me.

I also want to thank my girlfriend, Naomi, who has been with me throughout my journey at The Montclarion. You encouraged me to keep moving up and stepping out of my comfort zone, assuring me I was more than qualified even if I felt like I wasn’t. I love you.

Thank you to everyone currently on the editorial staff. This has been an unusual, difficult year for everyone, but thankfully I just happened to have the greatest staff any editor-in-chief could ever ask for. Thank you for always going above and beyond. I’m grateful to call you not only my coworkers but also my friends.

I want to thank Professor Tara George for making my transition from managing editor to editor-in-chief as seamless as possible. Thank you for being so understanding and for giving the best advice in regard to our editorial and business decisions. If any student who is reading this hasn’t spoken to or had a class with George yet, I highly encourage it. I haven’t taken a class with her myself, but if I could go back in time and enroll in one, I would in a heartbeat.

Thank you to Sam Impaglia and Ben Caplan for being my managing editors this year and being the best support possible. I couldn’t have done anything without you.

Thank you to Heather Berzak and Mackenzie Robertson for believing I had what it took to move up in the first place and for all the help along the way.

I want to thank Jen Losos as well. It was an honor to serve as your managing editor, even if our time working together was cut short. I tried to be the best editor-in-chief I could be, but there is not a shred of doubt in my mind it would have paled in comparison to the job you would have done.

To the future staff of The Montclarion, I won’t be around every day anymore, but I’ll be checking up on your work. No pressure though, I know you’ll do amazing. If you ever need anything, please reach out. I might not be your coworker anymore, but I’ll always be your friend.

And to the rest of my graduating seniors, don’t think for a second I forgot we were supposed to go out for St. Patrick’s Day right before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic hit. Let’s get a drink sometime.

My word of advice to anyone reading this is to shoot for the stars. I walked into a meeting one day being nothing but a curious first-year student with no writing experience, and three-and-a-half years later I’m walking out as editor-in-chief. If this can happen to me, it can happen to any of you. Don’t let a closed door discourage you. There’s an open door out there somewhere—you just have to find it.

To anyone thinking about joining The Montclarion, of course, my advice is to please reach out and get involved. There’s something here for everyone.

Whether you are interested in writing news articles, writing movie and television reviews, taking photographs, editing videos, building our social platforms or any of the many things we do— you won’t regret the time you spent here. I don’t regret any of mine.

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