Staff Goodbye | Ready for Change

Published by Marissa Mastrangelo, Date: May 3, 2022
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I have learned many things throughout my four years at Slippery Rock University. I’ve learned to love myself for who I am. I’ve learned how to grow and become a professional and I’ve learned how to adapt to almost any situation that comes my way.

However, the one thing that I want to start this senior goodbye with is that I’ve learned that despite the negatives associated with procrastinating, I do some of my best work when I am under the pressure of a shorter time frame.

Yes, I know it isn’t always a good idea. But then I remember when I participated in this fundraiser event every Jan. 11 throughout high school. It was called “Art 1.11” and it was originally founded and organized by my art teacher Bobby Foy.

Its purpose was for students to paint a piece, live in under 111 minutes, just short of two hours. The paintings would then be hung in the high school and other buildings throughout the district.

They would then be put up for auction the following year to raise money for a scholarship for an art student at my high school that was looking to further their education.

I was a freshman in Foy’s art class when I learned about it. I had to submit sketches and became one of the chosen to be a part of the fundraiser to paint a canvas. The only catch was, I honestly had never painted a single day in my life until the day of the event.

I continued doing the fundraiser and painting for the event every year for five years, doing it once as an alumna too. This event not only pushed my creativity, it pushed me to adapt and finish a product under a tough time constraint with multiple obstacles.

Getting back on topic and into my senior goodbye, I never thought when I stepped onto campus I would end it by sitting on a couch in The Rocket office writing a senior goodbye as an assistant copy/web editor for an independent and student-run university newspaper.

Writing has always come easy to me. Being diagnosed with ADHD, I’ve learned that my qualities of overthinking, eagerness to learn and having too much energy to contain makes writing a very comfortable medium for me.

When I would be given a paper assignment in class, I usually would never stress about it. However, I always knew I would probably wait until the day before to complete it, my apologies to my college professors.

It was never because I didn’t want to write it, I usually just would have to do it almost entirely in one setting.

I do like writing what I am passionate about more of course. I have written papers on research, history, films and even myself. Yet, as familiar as I am with myself and adapting to writing for a prompt, writing a goodbye is unfamiliar territory to me.

I honestly don’t think it has hit me until as I am writing this, that I have essentially completed my undergraduate degree.

What does a goodbye even fully mean when you feel like you’ll always have roots somewhere you grew from?

To me, saying goodbye is giving a passionate recognition and honoring the experiences that I have had with that person, place or thing.

Saying goodbye to me is realizing that I should be prepping for the foreseeable change over the horizon.

So Rocket readers and staff, this is my goodbye to you.

After a short-lived semester as the assistant copy/web editor, some would probably say my position was the easiest one on staff. Maybe it is, however I would give anything to have been a part of the staff for longer, even as an assistant to Kaitlyn Myers.

Saying goodbye also means highlighting my five pieces I have contributed this semester.

My two contributions for the Sports Editor, Tyler Howe, covering Rock rugby’s amazing growth and Devin Dunn being a diamond, literally in the dirt. My contribution for Sarah Anderson, editor for campus life, covering diversity amongst dining under Aramark on campus.

And finally my two contributed opinion pieces, consisting of this goodbye and my beloved 6000 plus word intersectionality and white privilege awareness piece.

When I was applying to The Rocket back in November, while I sat in Butler’s Panera Bread up until their closing hours, I never imagined that having a position on the staff would help me find my voice again. I just thought it would simply be good journalism experience.

I am glad it became much more than that.

I have changed majors, friend groups, dorms, streets, opinions and perspectives the past four years. Originally a girl from Ohio who wanted to be an athletic trainer, now wants to teach production and software as a professor. Who knows, I might change that too in four years.

My years at Slippery Rock University made me so strong. With many situations such as the times where I thought stress would consume me, I had to turn in an assignment before I could shower, or my diet became whatever I could find.

My biggest advice is to self-care as much as you possibly can. Be selfish with your time, your things and your mental health before putting energy into other things.

Overall, I am thankful for it all, grateful and privileged for even the worst of times. And not coming back as a student in the fall has me elated and scared for my changing future.

To my staff, you have left the biggest impact of all and changed my perspectives of family and friendship forever and I am glad we were all able to support one another this semester.

Your passionate, infectious drive and energy made me so proud to be a part of such a wonderful staff. Putting out prints was fun and exciting because of all your content and willingness to have quality work.

To Kaitlyn, you are an amazing person with the most patience and uplifting spirit, and every time I saw you I felt like I could get through another day.

And last but not least, to Dr. Fleming, words cannot articulate how grateful I am for our time together. You’ve taught me so much, pushed me to do better and showed me how to be an inclusive-minded and compelling person in a leadership role. Through classes and The Rocket, I will always wish we could have had more time together. Your influence will follow me throughout my future and I hope to stay in touch as long as possible. I wish you a safe, happy and restful pregnancy and maternity leave. Thank you.

My last pieces of advice to future alumni and those reading; as long as you’re happy and doing what you love, then all will fall in place in time.

Listen to a little Patsy Cline once in awhile.

Kindly thank everyone you meet and communicate with. Change is going to come and change is going to go, so always have patience and prepare a backup plan.

Bye SRU, I’ll see you again. I am out of words. For now.

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