Four years ago, I dreamed of throwing my cap in the air and walking across the stage in a white lace dress and a low heel. It was a vision that seemed impossible at the time, since I entered college completely clueless without a path to follow.
I knew storytelling was a strong passion of mine but I wasn’t sure how to pursue it. When I walked into the School of Communication and Media building at Montclair State University for the first time, I felt an instant connection.
I watched as students passed by carrying camera equipment and the classrooms full of giant lights with TVs lined across the walls. Most importantly, I saw how students and professors interacted with each other. I realized this was not just a place to study but a community, and that sense of community only continued to grow throughout my college experience.
Joining The Montclarion was the best decision of my college career. My first article was difficult but I enjoyed every second of it and the editors inspired me to keep writing. The entire staff was so welcoming and collaborative, constantly enabling me to grow as a writer and a team member.
Writing articles soon became second nature to me, and I became so invested in it that I aspired to be an editor. Before long, I became an assistant editor and learned the secrets behind copy editing, management and handling breaking news. The moment I moved up to an editor position soon after is something I’ll treasure forever.
As much as I fell in love with the profession, I also looked forward to the staff meetings. The staff were not just coworkers, they became my close friends. We’d go from discussing business to talking about our favorite TV shows and having heart-to-heart conversations for hours past the meeting’s end.
One of my best friends on the team is Samantha Impaglia. I’ll truly miss our deep conversations, partnering up for projects in every class and hanging out in the office. Most importantly, I thank you for introducing me to The Montclarion, and I know our friendship will endure beyond graduation.
Thank you to my wonderful assistant, Jenna Sundel, for all the hard work she’s done. I’m going to miss laughing about the most random things while “discussing business” and our inside jokes, which get me every time. You will make an amazing news editor next semester.
Words cannot describe how much Thomas Neira has helped me this year and how reliable he has always been. Thomas, you were amazing at your job and dealt with all of my exhausting questions. This semester we grew closer through the several classes we took together and hanging out in the office with Sam as a trio. I’ll definitely miss working with you and hanging out after class.
To my Italian sister Lauren Lamantia, it was amazing getting to know you and discovering our similarities, both at the paper and The Normal Review. I hope to make our dreams of collaborating in Italy come true. You were always so helpful, and it was a pleasure to work with you.
To my piano twin Jen Losos, I missed you the minute you left and you were an amazing editor-in-chief. I eagerly anticipated working with you and becoming closer to you when we met, and that never changed. You always supported this team and gave helpful suggestions whenever you could. I’ll miss you but I hope we can work together someday in the future.
Of course, there is no one more important to thank than Tara George. Tara, you were a true mentor, always there for me when I needed help along the way. I’ll always remember your guidance and how much of an asset you’ve become in my life and career.
To the entire staff, it was a pleasure working alongside all of you! I’ve made connections that have had amazing impacts on my life and I’ll miss being a part of this incredible team.
Finally, a big thanks to my boyfriend, who I met as a freshman. Although he wasn’t on the team, he was there to support me throughout the entire process. Thanks for always being featured in articles and encouraging me to move up the ladder. Your support allowed me to find true field experience and friendships where I never imagined I would.
Though this is the end of my time at The Montclarion, now I can begin the new “front-page story” of my life.