Four whole years and all I got is a sink
Reflecting on my time at The Spectrum
Time flies when you’re having fun?
Our adviser, Jody Biehl, hates when we open our work with cliché quotes, but I can’t help it this time.
After four years with The Spectrum, I can’t believe I’m here, in this moment, writing this goodbye column. I’ve read so many of them, cried over those who have left before me and imagined my own senior year. Will I be as panic-stricken as some of those who came before me, with no clear plans post-graduation? Will I pursue journalism? Will I even graduate on time?
In 10 days, I will walk the stage alongside of my peers. In 72 days, I start law school at Hofstra University, where I was offered a full scholarship.
But I will never stop being a journalist.
I came to UB with low expectations and did not find immediate success. I didn’t live in the dorms because I had messed up my housing forms, so I had a hard time making friends.
I turned to new, dangerous vices.
I stopped going to classes because they were so hard.
Though I began writing for The Spectrum my first semester, I was terrible at it. I was shy so interviewing was uncomfortable. I didn’t take criticism well, so I didn’t like going to the office for help. I barely passed the class.
For the first time, I felt stupid.
Two of my roommates didn’t speak English and we hardly interacted.
I ended my freshman year extremely sad and lonely. I was put on academic probation. My two friends I spent most of the year with were both leaving me – one was transferring and one was arrested.
I hated school – a feeling I never thought I would experience.
I left my freshman year excited to go home. I was going to talk to my friends and maybe transfer to escape this hell I was experiencing.
But then I got a call from the incoming editor-in-chief, Sara DiNatale. She asked if I would like to be an assistant editor.
That call changed my life.
I spent the next three years involved as an editor learning and growing.
I got better. Things got better.
My journey through school was not easy or simple, but The Spectrum was always there. Finally, I had people to look up to. I had a purpose and was contributing to the university. I changed my major, made friends, got involved with other clubs and worked a variety of part-time jobs.
As I moved up, I was able to interview people who were important to me, to cover fun and exciting events, to formulate and eloquently write my opinion.
This newspaper gave me more than any class, teacher or club at UB.
And in these four years, the only thing The Spectrum has received from the university is a sink for our office.
I can only hope that in the future, the UB community has respect for what we do. We are students who are learning, and often receive a lot of criticism for what we publish. We make mistakes, but we make them publicly and then correct them. We tell the public our opinions and attach our name to it. We send staff writers, people who are just dipping their toes into journalism, on assignments. We are not perfect, but we are trying our best.
I have some people to thank for helping to shape me into the journalist and person I am today.
First and foremost, Jody, it is a gift to have been able to work with you. Your infinite knowledge, your perseverance, your dedication to our newspaper and your teaching are inspirational. You’re unintentionally hilarious and I will deeply miss your expressive nature. I feel incredibly grateful to have had your guidance in these past few years.
Rachel Kramer and Brian Windschitl, two who have graduated before me – thank you for helping me push through the first couple years at UB. Rachel, you dragged me to the Monday class my first semester against my will and for two years, taught me an insane amount about writing style and editing. Now I hold your title, Managing Editor, and I hope I have made you proud. Brian, your attitude, wit and affinity for writing served as motivation to me, more so than you may know. I treasure memories of our arts desk and only wish you continued success.
To anyone who has worked on a desk with me or edited with me – Tomas, John, Ken especially – under my messy direction, thank you for your patience. I have no idea what I’m doing unless it involves writing, but I hope I at least taught you one thing along the way. I have enjoyed every moment in the office, whether we were playing Smash, spinning around in our office chairs or blasting ridiculous music.
Gabi – we made it. We came up at The Spectrum in a similar way and here we are, overlooking the kingdom we’ve fashioned like old queens. Thank you for being so incredibly smart, for always making me laugh, for making the newspaper fun again, for remaining dedicated in times of difficulty, for giving me advice when I needed it, but most importantly, becoming one of my dearest friends. I can’t wait to watch your success and cheer you on.
Huge shoutout to Pierce for being incredibly talented, for turning my articles into art and for singing showtunes at midnight. I cannot wait to see what you create.
To the staff that remains – Max, Sarah, David, Tom, Dan, Lindsay, Maddy and of course, Hannah – I feel so fortunate to have experienced working with all of you. You will always be special to me, and you know who to call when you need a headline.
To everyone after – thank you for continuing an organization that gave me everything. I hope The Spectrum becomes as meaningful to you as it has to me.
In my last moments at the university, I am overwhelmed with emotion, primarily, a feeling of gratitude.
I cannot believe I made it to this point. The come up is real.
Cheers to four years.
And of course, the sink.
Tori Roseman is the managing editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org