Insert cliché quote here
Kind of a goodbye, but not really
Originally, I didn’t want to write this piece – for multiple reasons. The main reason being that I’m not really leaving UB. Also, because saying goodbye seems silly to me considering that the work that we do as staff writers, editors, copy editors and managing editors will always be part of the legacy that is The Spectrum.
This year has been a very busy one for me with 19 credits including an honors thesis, 20 hours of work a week as a lifeguard and applying to grad school on top of it all. I got accepted in the English MA program at UB for next year and am really more excited for that than graduation to be honest. I was lucky enough to be awarded the Schomburg Fellowship, which is going to pay for my masters and then some.
This year hasn’t been easy. My landlord has been a constant pain in my back, my downstairs neighbors tried to scheme my housemates and I out of money (emphasis on
“tried”). My mom’s mental health has been consistently up and then soon after way down. It’s as if this year, which should have been the least stressful, managed to find a way to be the most difficult year of my undergrad career.
My time at UB was a roller coaster. I came in my freshman year thinking I was going to come out some sort of medical doctor – three changes to my major later, I learned to appreciate the things that come naturally to me.
Writing wasn’t so easy for me growing up and through most of high school, but I wrote anyway because it is the one instance that I can actually talk to myself and not look like a crazy person – structuring my thoughts and learning more from just putting my ideas on paper.
I was able to read great writing and not so great writing as an editor – you’d be surprised at how few college students can actually write well. It’s given me an appreciation for my ability that comes from learning from those who are better than me and learning from their strengths.
I’ve made great friends on The Spectrum staff. I’ve been able to meet new people as I chased down student opinions for stories on deadlines. I’ve allowed myself to not just go to school at UB invest myself into the institution and the people that work to make it run.
Now, for a few thank you notes. Thank you to my guys Brian Windschitl and Kenneth Thomas for bringing me in with open arms (or should I say open hands?) and helping me grow as a writer. Thank you to Tori Roseman and John Jacobs, my team on the features desk. Tori for always joining me during my random dance parties and John for being one of the subtlest funny people I’ve ever met. Thank you to Kainan Guo for always making the time to help me whenever I need help making videos or editing photos for other classes that I probably wouldn’t have done as well in without him. And finally, thank you to Jordan Grossman for being a helping hand whenever I needed it and always jamming out on our Thursday night drives back home.
Although I won’t be formally writing for the paper next school year, I do plan on occasionally coming back as a contributing writer when I have any interesting stories to share. UB has been and will continue to be my home for the next couple years and I look forward to creating new and exciting memories as a graduate student.
Tomas Olivier is the features editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.