Two years ago, when I arrived at Northampton Community College, I wasn’t even sure if I belonged at the college. I had spent two years toiling in minimum wage jobs and wondering if my life was ever going anywhere.
My first day on campus, I went to the only place that had ever made sense to me when I had went to college the first time, the newspaper office, and introduced myself. I was met with kindness by strangers that eventually became some of my closest friends.
My current copy editor, mentor, and friend Kristen Cervenak was the editor-in-chief at the time, and she, along with the rest of the staff, helped me feel at home. Although I am the managing editor, Kristen is the heart and soul of this operation, and without her, this paper would not flourish today.
Looking back on those early days on the newspaper, I am proud to say we have come a long way. When I first started, we had a core of five consistent members with a couple writers on the periphery. At one point, we considered changing the newspaper to “Commuter by Kristen” as she had written seven out of the 10 articles in an issue.
The staff I have this semester has put in the hard work that has allowed us to put together 12 and 16 page issues filled with interesting content. I am fortunate to be surrounded by this level of talent, and I breath a lot easier knowing that I am leaving this paper in Christopher Jacobsen’s talented hands. I know he will put together a great staff in the fall and continue to do this newspaper proud.
This organization really allowed me to flourish as a student. It provided me a space to do what I am passionate about, while still being able to focus on my studies. The people I have worked with have been a family to me. When I have struggled personally, they have held me up, and I can’t begin to thank them enough.
In closing, I’d like to thank some people who have impacted me in my time at NCC.
First off I’d like to thank my advisor, Rob Hays. He has challenged me, supported me, and taught me things that have made me a better writer and a better journalist.
My former English professor Javier Avila taught me about the importance, the urgency of life, which has allowed me stay grounded and be appreciative of what I have.
Philosophy professor Ken Burak introduced me to a book that I still am wrapping my mind around, Ishmael, by Daniel Quinn, which I highly recommend.
To all my professors who have put up with my outspoken nature, and inability to filter myself, I thank you for dealing with me. And if I haven’t named you, it is only due to the limited nature of print.
Lastly, I’d like to thank my staff. You all are so talented, and when we have meetings, I feel privileged to sit in on the amount of intelligence we have in the room. I am a better person for knowing all of you, and I am very proud of the work we have done this semester.
To close this letter, here’s a quote from my favorite artist, and controversial figure, Kanye West: “If you have the opportunity to play this game of life you need to appreciate every moment. A lot of people don’t appreciate the moment until it’s passed.”