A new shift
When I was younger, I wanted to be a scientist, a reporter and a basketball player.
And even though I am good at free throws, I knew I would always end up choosing one path.
But I never thought one childhood desire would lead me to one of the best decisions I made at UB.
Before The Spectrum, I was unmotivated and stagnant. I felt myself melting slowly into the masses of UB.
There were many days for two years of an endless cycle with going to class, coming back to my dorm and lying in bed wondering what I was doing here.
I had joined a few clubs, but none of them made me feel passionate. I missed feeling passionate and feeling like I could contribute to something bigger than myself.
The Spectrum helped me to reclaim some life back to me after swimming in gray for two years.
Sometimes, I’ll think back to the steps that led me to that office in the back halls of the Student Union.
If I hadn’t decided to stay at the table in Pistachios –
If one of the girls hadn’t mentioned she used to work for The Spectrum –
If she hadn’t said “Why not?” when I said I thought about joining –
If I hadn’t felt like indulging my childhood career aspirations –
I wouldn’t have gone down to SU 132 that day to meet Sam Fernando, who told me he was also previously an engineer who switched to a completely different route.
I’m not blind to the infinite possibilities that led me to The Spectrum, but the moments that led to meeting my future senior editor really sticks out. I had found something to immerse myself in and I was fascinated by the stories that floated in and out of the office.
Despite my younger self staring at the TV imagining being a reporter, I was not planning on going into journalism when I took my first story last fall.
It’s going to feel foreign stepping onto campus next semester and not heading straight for the innards of SU.
But that office, filled with passionate and creative people, has permanently stamped itself into my memories.
Sara, I can’t thank you enough for your patience this semester. Seriously. I’m going to miss looking over and seeing you burst out of the ME office. I’m waiting for the day I see your name in big print.
Rachel and Alyssa, your help with everything has been invaluable. You two are not only going to kill it with next semester, but with life. You guys have the attitudes of sassy rock stars. The sign you both made me is definitely going into my official book of nostalgic stuff.
Owen, good luck with all that you do. I remember reading your profiles as a staff writer last semester and enjoying every last word.
Chad and Jackie, your passion inspires me to pursue my own dreams. I never met anyone else with as much drive for photography as you two, and that really holds a special place in my heart. Please never lose that. Thanks for indulging my donut obsession, Chad. I may never get the chance to pose with a pastry again and I have you to thank for that. Jackie, I’m going to miss hearing my name yelled from across the room, just for a hello. Juan, I like our insights into each other’s lives as you film me being awkward, even if you forget where I’m from every time.
Jenna, the girl who danced away at The U while I tried my best to follow suit, I’m going to miss your free spirit and sincerity.
Emma, have I told you I love your outfit today? I apologize if I seem like I want to steal your closet, because it’s true. You just exude dame, and you own it.
Sushmita, I remember hearing you speak for the first time in Critelli’s class and thinking how intelligent you were, and then I had the chance to find out how much you are a genuine person. Sharon, I can’t imagine how you balance everything, but you do it effortlessly.
Andy, while everything seems hectic, you always seem to still have the best smile on. Jordan, I still owe you a coffee, but thank you for all your help through the awkward introductions.
Tom, I still like Tim better. But seriously, you manage to make me laugh every day, which is the best thing someone can do in my opinion. I have no doubt you are going to do amazing next semester, but you already knew that.
Brian, trial week almost seems like it didn’t happen, but we were very close to sharing a desk. You have a wicked sense of humor. Wear that pin proudly, high fashion. Tori, you are a sweet girl who also has a sick sense of style.
Jordan, we’ve both come a long way together. Stay sane, pri-pri.
While last semester seems too long ago, I owe so much to Sam and Mads, last year’s news desk. You guys know how much I value your friendships. Throughout this semester, you still kept me going even though I didn’t reach out to you as much as I wanted.
My GG and Salaami – my team and support this semester. Giselle and Samaya, my editors, I already have a hard time expressing myself, but you two make it even harder because it is not even possible in the first place to show how you guys made this semester the best it could be.
You two kept me sane when everything seemed like it was falling apart.
Giselle, I love the moments when I see witty Giselle come out. You are smarter than you think you are, so stop saying otherwise. You’re the only remnant of our little desk left, but I can’t think of a better person to keep Tommy in check.
Samaya, the adorable fireball: Please leave a trail of cereal to UMass for Giselle and I to follow. Your passion will lead you to bigger places than I can imagine. It seems like nothing is a barrier for you, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
It doesn’t feel like I am saying goodbye because I’ll still be a couple steps away from the office next semester.
But my momentum is going to shift, and I’m not going to ever have it again like this past year-and-a-half. But I know I’ll bring the experiences and relationships with me to throw myself into a new path.