From one Amherst to another

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Between 1:30 a.m. and 4 a.m. Thursday morning I sat underneath my heated blanket, stuffing my face with Special K cereal and silently, yet hysterically, crying.

If someone told me two years ago I would end up in Buffalo, I would have laughed.

But when my mother hugged me goodbye after move-in weekend my freshman year, I almost told her “take me back with you.”

Something didn’t feel right. I was missing a sense of myself, and a sense of purpose. I saw my roommate making friends like wildfire and I saw myself withering away. I told myself stick it out and to give UB a chance. I went out with my roommate, made new friends, and met a boy (lol). I found solace in the fact that the work wasn’t hard and for once, I felt like my academic career was on an upswing.

I also managed to find myself sitting on the ground of an empty parking lot outside my dorm at 2:30 a.m. on the phone with my best friend in tears. I felt like I didn’t belong.

Over winter break, I read an email that said: “The Spectrum, UB’s award-winning independent student newspaper, seeks two copy editors and one opinion editor for the spring semester.”

I joined the paper at the right time in my college career, but I still felt something was missing. I struggled to find a reason to get out of bed and I didn’t care to.

That’s not like me.

I’ve decided to transfer to the University of Massachusetts-Amherst next semester and I’m nervous to leave. But I can’t stay at UB.

To express how grateful I am to all the people that I’ve met and come to love from this organization is hard to say. So, I’ll say it like this:

Tom, while you’ve appointed yourself to be HR and The Spectrum Social Committee activities chair, I’m going to miss calling you Tommy on a weekly basis and making fun of you (sometimes). You’re going to do a great job on news, I know it.

To the rest of the sports crew: Andy, that Australian accent is killer. You’re extremely creative and I’m always amazed by your video and graphic design work. I’ll miss hanging out with you and stealing your hat on occasions, but I think I’ll miss your humor the most. Your talent and curiosity will take you far. Jordan, I’ appreciate your passion. Your attitude and tenacity is something more people should aspire to have.

To the features desk: Emma, your chic style is something that sets you apart from the average college student and my gosh is it a breath of fresh air. Sharon, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed listening to you gushing over Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” video. Sushmita, you are one of the nicest and jolliest people I’ve met at this school. Your sunny disposition is admirable.

To our arts desk: Jordan, I don’t know what I’m going to do when there isn’t someone around who will ask, at least twice a day, if I’d like to get food or coffee. I actually don’t think I’m ever going to find that again. I’ve seen you grow as a lot as a person and I’m glad to see you’re coming out of your can.

Tori, you’re awesome. You’re able to stay on top of all your work and another job? You’re such a renaissance woman. Brian, ‘high fashion’ is what you are and I’m pretty sure what you’ll always be. Keep that sense of humor of yours, but please stop assaulting my hair buns.

Chad and Jackie, you guys were one of the bright spots of the office and the talent you both have for taking photos is incredible. But Chad, buy Jackie a coffee, will you?

Amanda, first off, I’d like to say how great it’s been working under you this semester. I had no clue how hard working for news would be as an assistant, so I can’t fathom how difficult it must have been to be a senior. You are truly an angel. Giselle, you’re really funny, even when you don’t try to be. I love hearing your stories about your residents and I’m going to miss those immensely. I’m really happy I got the chance to know you (insert the BEST nickname ever).

My news desk girls are probably two of the best people I’ve ever worked with and I’m honored I got the chance to do so.

As a desk, we found our harmony. And through a long awaited dinner and “Bones” marathon, we became friends. I’m going to miss seeing their faces almost every day and hearing them make jokes about the weird words I use. I miss you two already.

Sam, our former seniors news editor, you already know this, but your friendship means a lot to me. Your friendship helped me out of the emotionally turbulent place I was in. You’re the reason why I felt comfortable at the paper and I’m so proud to call you one of my closest friends.

Madelaine, even though you’re no longer on the Spectrum team, I’m glad this paper brought us together. You are my inspiration and my she-ro. Your passion makes me want to be a better person. The hardest part about leaving Buffalo is leaving you. But I want to you to know that I’m honored to have you as my best friend and I’m so proud of you for being the strong, independent Ginger Snap you are.

To our paper’s leaders (Sara, Owen, Rachel, Alyssa, Tress and Jenna), you guys are rock stars, and I appreciate all the work you do.

I’m excited to leave UB and jump into the programs at UMASS Amherst, but the people of UB will always remain in my heart.

And with that, my friends, I bid you adieu.

email: samaya.abdussalaam@ubspectrum.com