I cannot quite remember what it was like in the weird time between my high school graduation and starting college at Slippery Rock. At 18 years old we weirdly have to make a bunch of decisions that affect the rest of our lives, and looking back, I somehow made a lot of really good choices. It has only been four years, but I feel like I have become almost a completely different person. Since starting college so much has happened; I have discovered my passion, I learned what I want to do with my life, I met the best friends I have ever had and, most importantly, I learned who I was. I realize that my college experience is not unique, in fact, it is probably more cliche than anything, but still, I consider myself very lucky.
I feel like one of the one cliche everybody says, but nobody actually believes is that “everything happens for a reason.” Surely not everything that happens has a reason behind it, some things must just be random coincidence. Yet somehow it always seems like every little thing we do comes back around to affect us in some way.
Anybody that knows me probably associates me with The Rocket before anything else, and for good reason. I have been writing for The Rocket literally as long as I have been at Slippery Rock. My first day of classes ever I received a random email from The Rocket’s then sports editor asking for new writers. Now I had never written for a newspaper before, my high school barely even had a newspaper, and yet for whatever reason, I replied to his email and joined the sports section of the paper. I honestly cannot remember what made me respond to that email or made me think that I could write for the paper, maybe I was still in that freshman mindset of having to join every club on campus, but whatever the reason, it is one of the best decisions I have ever made in my entire life.
I started writing for the women’s cross-country team, a beat that I do not think a lot of people would be overly excited about, but I instantly fell in love. Back then I was very nervous and honestly, I was scared to talk to people that I did not know. And yet when I did interviews for the paper, when I wrote my stories it all felt very natural. I was never nervous to interview someone, I never experienced writer’s block while writing a story. At the end of my freshman year I was hired on to The Rocket staff and the rest, as they say, is history.
I was going to try and count exactly how many stories I have worked on and how many interviews I have done in my time at The Rocket, but four years is a long time and I gave up before I got through my freshman year. You are just going to have to trust me when I say that it is a high number.
I realize that I am incredibly lucky to find my passion basically on my first try, but I hope everyone who goes to college had the opportunity to find what they are truly passionate about like I did. The Rocket has been a huge part of my time at college and I honestly do not know what I would be doing right now if I had never answered that random email freshman year. Through The Rocket, I have had amazing experiences, have met so many interesting and wonderful people that I would never have otherwise and I have had the opportunity to work alongside some of the most incredible people I have ever met. Without The Rocket I may have never found what I was truly passionate about, I may never have met some of my best friends and I would not be the same person I am today. I have tried so many new things and developed so many skill and because of this, I owe this student newspaper a debt that I do not think I could ever repay. Having the opportunity to be the editor-in-chief this year has been one of the most challenging, and yet deeply rewarding experiences of my entire life.
I am not going to try and list every single person that has been important to me along the way because I know I will certainly leave someone out. Suffice it to say, there a lot of different people that I have met through The Rocket that have made a big impact on my life.
I do not know if there is some sort of moral or deeper meaning to my story, but I love having the opportunity to share it with people and pay tribute to the odd little student newspaper that changed my life forever. Sometime in the very near future, I am going to have to walk out of ECB 220B for the last time as a Rocket staffer and I honestly do not know how I am going to feel. As much as I have loved working at The Rocket I know that my time at the paper has come to an end. I know that it is time for me to turn the reigns over to a new EIC and a new group of staffers to take the paper wherever it is supposed to go next. My only hope is that any and all staffers that come after me have an experience working for The Rocket similar to mine because it has been an amazing ride. I do not know where life is going to take me next, but I do know that wherever I go I will be bringing all the amazing and wonderful memories my time from working at The Rocket with me, and just knowing that is enough.
To everyone who ever working on staff with me; all the laughs we shared in the office, all the stress we felt when we were pushed up against a deadline and all the wacky little things that we never expected to happen, I just want you all to know that I am taking all of those with me. I love this newspaper and I want to thank you all for sharing those experiences with me.