Like most people, I hate goodbyes.
The crying, the crumpled-up tissues and the endless supply of hugs aren't my thing. But this time, I feel like it's going to be different.
The Spectrum has been my home away from home for the past two years. This is my second, albeit extremely dysfunctional, family.
These are the people who are always there for me, no matter what. They've become such a large piece to my college-life puzzle that when they leave, it's going to feel like I've lost a big part of what I love most about UB.
In my time spent at this paper, I inherited two "children," became "married," cried, laughed, got drunk, got mad, sang along with pretty much every Disney YouTube video ever made and watched Eric Hilliker blow up a condom with a corn-cob pipe (yes, it is possible).
When I first walked into this blue dungeon as a new member to the Arts Desk, I was so intimidated and honestly, I was scared.
But with a little tough love from John Ranic, I started to really enjoy my days spent in the office. And soon enough, I fell in love with everyone – and everything – about The Spectrum.
I see these people four or five times a week, sometimes more. Yes, they annoy me, and yes, I've had to resort to some physical violence, but I never get tired of them (don't ask me why).
They've all turned out to be the greatest friends that I could ever hope to find.
Rachel, although you've killed over 50 trees with your napkin hoarding and have a fully operational farm on Facebook, equipped with an elephant and neon colored sheep, I think that you're phenom. You make me laugh everyday with your sarcasm and blunt honesty, and I'm going to miss that so much.
We've had so many good times together. I'll miss our lunch dates, our outings, and your sea lions. And really, I'm sorry about your leg and that tequila shot that I showered you in.
Shane. If I wrote down every Shane-ism that you've ever said, I would have a 300-page book, in a series of 10. And this would be the front page:
"As I was walking across campus, a gust of wind blew my scarf across my neck, and I thought, ‘It's like God has finally realized that the world really is my own runway.'"
You're the only person I would want to skip down Main Street with at 3 a.m. to Jim's Steakout, and the only person with whom I would sing "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" to a room of drunken strangers at karaoke. I'm going to miss you, Watermelondraya.
And then there are the Jessicas.
Running Water, try to remember where counseling services are. If they're not there, I'll always be here for any late night calls.
Little Jess. You've become one of my best friends, and it makes me so sad to say goodbye to you. But I know that after I graduate, we'll become roommates together with Lola.
To my "husband," I'm so glad I had the chance to work with you. You've taught me so much, yet almost compromised my career with that comment in the Lopez article. And that additional sentence online. Period.
And to Squid, here's a reminder to keep the squid ink under control and the Rice Krispies treats in your desk drawer. They're my fav.
Jamo and Twigg, even though we'll see each other next year, I will still miss you both, and I'll always remember our time spent together when my hands turned blue.
Steve, per the bylaws and the charter, I know I'll miss you. After all, who else will give me my monthly reminders and threaten to "dock my pay" on a daily basis?
Di Matteo. I'll miss having your smiling face as one of the first things I see as I start my day. If it weren't for stupid Will, we'd have a picture together with Bill. Damn you, Will.
Jake, I will send you tips via Facebook about plowing the lands of Australia. And please, get a haircut.
And to the other graduating seniors and those who remain, I'm so happy to have gotten the chance to know you. This year was crazy, and one of the best times I've had at college.
So here's my goodbye. Although I'm looking forward to the future, I still love this paper. I love my disgusting chair. And I love my broken desk. I'll never forget the times that I've spent in this windowless office, or the people I've met.
To next year's staff, keep the "friends" in the Life and Friends desk. And don't remove the princess bra on our wall. That's a historical monument.