Staff Goodbyes: It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later

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I have never been good at goodbyes, it would always be “see you later,” so this will not be my goodbye column, it is simply my see you later column.

One would think that as a journalist and a writer I would have an abundance of words to express how wonderful my time with The Rocket and the staff has been. That’s the problem, I have plenty of words, wholesome experiences, and friendships that’ll last a lifetime, that I simply cannot express them all in a single column.

Entering college, I was a shy, scared and an introverted person. When I entered The Rocket office my freshman year to interview for the Assistant Campus Life position, I was terrified. I had never interviewed in front of a staff of 14 people, better yet been in an interview for a position I was so passionate about. Little did I know that those 14 people and the future staffers taking their positions for the next three years would become my best friends, my second family.

There have been plenty of people who have supported me throughout my college journalism career, even when I didn’t believe in myself (which happened more often than it should). However, I express the greatest gratitude to Dr. Fleming, not only an incredible advisor and professor, but a kind motivator and encourager. Thank you for always believing in the work The Rocket published, and thank you for always believing in me. It means more to me than you could ever know.

Throughout my years with the staff, I have experienced turnovers in positions, happy memories and sad experiences, but most importantly, I gained the love of friendships that will last a lifetime. There are so many people that have come and gone that I wish I could personally thank, but if that were the case, this see you later column would turn into a novel.

With that being said, thank you Megan Bush, my Campus Life Editor my sophomore year for teaching me and guiding me through the Adobe Suite and long print nights (P.S. I’m sorry the very first story I wrote for you was terrible). I would not have gained the confidence to lead the Campus Life Section upon your graduation without your support.

Taking over the Campus Life Editor position was a goal that I had set since my freshman year of college, and believe me, I learned more than I ever thought I could learn about journalism and myself.

If someone had told me that a global pandemic would take over during my last semester of college, I certainly wouldn’t have believed them, but here we are. Reporting during a pandemic has been far from easy, but it has also been the most rewarding experience of my college career. It brought me the closest friendships I could imagine.

I wanted to join The Rocket to establish myself in the field of journalism and share the stories of the Slippery Rock community. The reward from those experiences has been astounding, but I gained something even better than the experience. I gained a family, and to me that means everything in the world.

Hannah Shumsky, a roommate, an incredible EIC and best friend, you are an incredible person and leader who has upheld The Rocket’s credibility. I always knew you would be there for advice in life and to offer support in whatever I was doing. I am so proud of you and all you have and will accomplish. Keep being amazing.

Nina, words cannot express how much your dedication and determination to the field and The Rocket has awed me. I am so happy that I was able to work with you before I graduated, you will do amazing things with the remainder of your time on staff, I am absolutely sure of it. Thank you for always being up at 1 a.m. for my rants about life. I love you more than you will know.

Karl, I guess I should thank you too for the part you have played in supporting me through my work and always being a good friend I know I can trust. You always knew how to lighten up the room with a joke, even if it was making a pun from my name. I am honored to have worked with you on staff and gotten to know you as a good friend. I know that you will achieve success, any business, publication or company would be lucky to have you.

Aaron, I’ve known you since freshman year and always knew that you would be a hard worker. I am happy I got to work with you through The Rocket. I am extremely happy that you have been around to help with video when able to, because I certainly do not include it in my strong suits. I know that you are going to continue to create opportunities for yourself and I hope to hear you as a sports broadcaster one day.

If my experiences with The Rocket had taught me anything, it’s that I was not alone. In fact, I was far from alone. I was part of not only a staff that cared about their work and each other, I was part of a family that supported each other.

Of course, I could not leave without thanking the Strategic Communications and Media Department. I’ve had at least one class with almost every professor, and I have enjoyed and learned valuable aspects of journalism and life through all of them.

Coming into college, I feared that I would be entering a department of taking classes where the professors only cared about grades or assignments, thankfully, that was far from true. Eisenberg became my home away from home with professors and faculty who cared about their students and wanted what was best for them in life. I was comforted to talk about class and personal life with professors, knowing they would offer advice if need be. Thank you for welcoming me and making me feel at home.

Although I know I am nearing the end of my column and graduating soon, I wish that I could keep writing so the experience never ends. Thank yous have been expressed, memories have been shared, and a family was created that will last a lifetime.

With tears in my eyes typing this final paragraph, I could not be prouder to talk about and share my experiences with the Rocket and the department. Thank you. Thank you for everything. I’ll see you later.

Hope is a senior converged journalism major entering her third year on The Rocket staff and her second year as campus life editor. Previously, she served as assistant campus life editor after contributing to the campus life section her freshman year. After graduation, she hopes to report for a paper either in local journalism or city news. Outside of The Rocket, Hope is also part of the JumpStart Mentor Program, the Student Organization of Latinos Hispanics and Allies (SOL) and Lambda Pi Eta.

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Hope Hoehler
Hope is a senior converged journalism major entering her third year on The Rocket staff and her second year as campus life editor. Previously, she served as assistant campus life editor after contributing to the campus life section her freshman year. After graduation, she hopes to report for a paper either in local journalism or city news. Outside of The Rocket, Hope is also part of the JumpStart Mentor Program, the Student Organization of Latinos Hispanics and Allies (SOL) and Lambda Pi Eta.

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