C’est la vie

Published by Alex Hanczar, Date: May 2, 2024

Joining The Rocket my senior year has been both the greatest and saddest experience.

Throughout my journey at Slippery Rock, I always felt behind and felt constantly terrified of stepping out of my shell. It is for this reason my journey to The Rocket is sad: I wish we had more time.

With that being said, The Rocket has been the greatest experience of my Slippery Rock career, and it is not even by a close margin.

I was sitting in Dr. Fleming’s TV Studio Production class yapping about sports as I typically do when she mentioned The Rocket to me.

At the time, it was my junior year, and I felt obligated to get some sort of organization under my belt. How selfish of me to think I would be doing this for me.

The Rocket quickly became like sports, a team experience.

Tyler Howe brought me under his wing as a contributor the latter half of my junior year, and I wrote three stories with his and Aidan’s help.

After this experience, I loved the dynamic and was beyond excited to apply.

Funny enough the email came through that I had got the position… as assistant news editor.

Overjoyed and confused, I emailed Dr. Fleming back with my appreciation that I had been hired but was confused since I applied for the assistant sports position. To my slight relief, Dr. Fleming wrote back that it was indeed assistant sports that I was hired as.

From that moment on, everyone has taught me something I will forever take with me.

From me to you,

Sarah, the connection you and I have established inside and outside the office has continued to floor me. Ever since you stepped into the position of Editor in Chief, I have felt honored to work under you. The way you lead with such confidence and charisma is admirable. To me though, it is our conversations outside the office that make me deeply saddened to say goodbye. Your reassurance and support for me has ensured me that I am in the right place and doing the right thing, something I have struggled with my whole life. You taught me self-appreciation.

Aidan, you are wise beyond your years. To be honest, when I first learned I would be working under someone two years younger than me, I did not know how that dynamic would be. I quickly learned there was no dynamic, it was just fun. You genuinely are one of the smartest people I have come in contact with, and the fact you will continue to grow is incredible. I have honestly thought, “Man I need to get a job before this guy Aidan gets on the market.” It was never a competition between us. We always collaborated and always worked things out with each other no matter how difficult the task. You taught me how to bring the world of sports into the professional world seamlessly.

Eddie, your talent amazes me. I first saw your photos on my stories as a contributor and figured they were from some professional photographer. I learned that was not the case and it was from this silly guy Eddie. Eddie, you are a joy to be around. It was never a stressful environment working with you. I always looked forward for seeing a comfortable face to get me through my days and you were that. Like Aidan, I cannot wait to see where you go in life because your talent has taught me to work hard and anything can be achieved.

Katie Domaracki, from our corner conversations on print nights to seeing you succeed brings me so much joy. You light up a room when you walk in and simply be yourself. I could always count on you for a laugh in stressful times while also being one of the number one supporters on staff. You taught me to never let anything stress you too much and being calm can get you a long way.

James, you exemplify what it means to be a teammate. It took some time for us to get close but once we did, you were my favorite person to see daily. I do not think you understand just how much your presence brings people joy. I often came to you stressed about something and you would say the silliest of jokes that I never saw coming to make me laugh hysterically. Besides the person you are, you are incredible at what you do. You were tasked with writing some of the most difficult stories this semester and you hit every one out of the park. You taught me to never be too serious and to keep a balanced mind in writing and life.

Hayden, it was nice to have another baritone on staff with me. Your commanding voice was something I noticed when we first interviewed you for the staff. That voice resonates in your writing and your leadership as well. You quickly became an instrumental part of the staff and its success. You became a piece of the puzzle that brought it all together. I wish we had more time to get close and share thoughts with the incredible mind you have. You taught me to help the people you care about and that through collaboration, anything is possible.

Annabelle, it has been a pleasure experiencing the journalistic mind you have. You were never afraid to say how you felt in budget meetings, what was concerning for you, and be personable. You took some of the most outlandish angles for stories and they always drew me in. Those outlandish angles match you perfectly. You are so unique in the best way, and I hope whenever you enter the professional world you will remain yourself because you are so incredible to be around. You taught me to always be honest, be myself and never let anyone put me down.

Kayla, I admire your outlook on life. You always came in the office with a smile and seemed to be constantly happy. Like Hayden, I wish we had more time to grow our bond. However, it was easy to see your passion in your writing very quickly. I hope you continue to keep that smile on your face and pass it along to others. You taught me that in a dark world, bright people will always shine through.

Sophia, watching your growth has blown my mind. When I joined the staff your quiet but strong presence was always apparent. With you now potentially stepping into even more of a leadership role, it brings me so much joy. The confidence you have gained both in your work and in life in general is admirable. You taught me that by coming out of my shell I can do anything.

Cassie, you have been a bundle of energy since you joined the staff. Like Hayden and Kayla, I wish we could have had more time to get to know one another. However, in the short time I have known you, I have seen you step up and work your tail off. You taught me that making an early impression on people can quickly guide you in the right direction.

Katie Shope, your creativity constantly shines through. Seeing your work come to life was one of the coolest parts of being on The Rocket for me. More than that, your genuine interest in wanting to get to know me and push me out of my comfort zone gave me immense joy. You were always one of the easiest people to talk with on staff and I applaud you for that. You taught me to check in on others, get to know people and be caring.

Teiko, our journey began way before The Rocket. I have always known your incredible talent through projects and seeing your work in class. What many people may not know about you is the incredible intellect you possess. Our conversations outside the classroom have genuinely made me a better person, and they are things I apply to myself every day. I never thought I would meet someone like you here and I cannot express how lucky I am to have done so. You taught me a plethora of life lessons but most importantly to always check in on one another.

Dr. Fleming, you broke me out of my shell. Through conversations in class, you showed me my potential and pushed me to it. I love all the professors in the Strategic Communication and Media Department, but you consistently go above and beyond for students and that is what makes you so special. Your smile lights up a room because it is so apparent that when you smile for us, you are genuinely proud of us. That is a feeling I will always miss in speaking to you. You taught me to have confidence in myself and chase my goals.

I could not get through this without tears being shed because goodbyes are my least favorite thing. That is life though, onto the next step.

With love, Alex.


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