Senior Sendoffs: Chronicle seniors lend words of advice

By on May 4, 2011

Joe Pelletier (former Editor-in-Chief):

Farewell and thank you all.

I’ve taken up a lot of space in this hallowed opinion section ranting and raving. It’s time to offer up some words of wisdom, I suppose.

I’m not going to tell you that it all goes by so fast. I’m not going to talk about how much I’ll miss it all. I’m not going to wax poetic about my education.

Because that was my education. And you, fellow students, have your own. And if there is one thing I have learned, it’s that you make your own college education. No one makes it for you.

It’s a macrocosm of the great résumé game we all play. One page or more? Experience or education first? Formal or funny? Email or snail mail?

Hint: There is no answer! You are the one who should decide how your résumé looks—not your adviser, parents or Google. Do what you think is right.

That’s college. Learn how you want to learn. Learn as little or as much as you want to learn. Invest as much as you want to. Do it any way you want.

It’s different in primary education. You are legally bound to attend elementary and middle schools (and if that isn’t the biggest buzzkill for educational excitement, I don’t know what is).

But your college education is all about you. Do whatever the heck you wish to do. I decided to join the newspaper. Others joined student government. A number of students took to Nicaragua, South Africa, or studied abroad through Quinnipiac’s comprehensive international program.

Take possession of your college experience.

OK, one last bit of advice: Work hard on something.

Clarification: Don’t just work for a long time on something, like biology homework or a QU201 paper. I repeat, work hard on something. Put in the effort to make something (anything!) the best you can. Don’t realize during your commencement ceremony that everything you did during college was procrastinated and half-assed.

Believe it or not, you can do something better than everybody else at Quinnipiac. You just need to figure out what that something is.

Alas, it seems I’ve reached my final words as a member of the Quinnipiac Chronicle. Enter college with something to prove. Leave with something to show.

 

Matt Ciepielowski (former Senior Managing Editor):

My four years at Quinnipiac are almost up and it’s time to be a real person. In my time here I’ve tried my best to be a good journalist, student and partier. I succeeded more so at some goals than others. Since this will be my last time writing for the Chronicle, I thought I’d take this opportunity to go over a few things I’d love to see here when I return to rage as an alumnus.

1. Students standing up for their rights. When I talk (to people?) about the restrictions placed on students’ rights at Quinnipiac, the most common response I get is that this is a private school and the administration can do whatever they want. This isn’t completely true for several reasons. First of all, like nearly every university in the country, Quinnipiac is propped up by federal money, both through grants given directly to the school and financial aid available to students. We wouldn’t be able to put up new buildings like they were made of Lincoln Logs if we did not have that money, and it comes with strings attached. The other reason that the university can’t simply do whatever they want is the student handbook. When you agree to come here, the text of the handbook essentially becomes a contract that both parties have agreed to follow. That means the university can’t promise due process in the handbook without actually following through.

2. More involvement with student organizations. I’ve had some interesting and enlightening classes at Quinnipiac, but I learned far more through my involvement with the Chronicle and Young Americans for Liberty. A quick glance at my résumé shows that they both receive quite a bit more space than my academic achievements. Being involved with a student group allowed me to learn how to promote an organization, plan and execute an event, and work with a group. It also gives you a chance to actually do work you are passionate about. It was a hell of a lot easier to stay up late at the library working on YAL’s “Don’t Get Busted” event than it has been to work on my thesis.

3. A little less stereotyping. While I certainly join in on the occasional bashing of the “average” Quinnipiac student, I’ve also come to realize that there is no such thing. Sure, there’s a large population on this campus that seem to have more money than brains, but I suppose someone had to fund the financial aid for the rest of us. Those of us who consider ourselves on the margins at Quinnipiac may not always feel comfortable in our brovironment (broroundings? bromosphere?), but as time goes on you realize that the stereotypes you subscribe to are clumsy and not universally applicable. Everyone has heard the complaints from someone who says they hate everyone in some fraternity or student organization, except for the one kid they know who is in it. Maybe if they actually took the time to get to know a few others they would realize how unfounded their blanket statement is. Just like some of the QU bros need to realize that wearing skinny jeans doesn’t mean I write poetry and cry all day, my friends and I need to realize that not everyone who wears their high school football sweatshirt to class has date raped someone.

And seriously Quinnipiac, fix your drug policies.

 

Nicole Celli (former News editor):

It’s hard to believe that this is my last article for the Chronicle. There is a staggering amount of things I’ve learned that I would love to pass on. I could tell you to have as much fun as you can while in college. I could also tell you to get as involved as possible while in college. I could tell you those things, but I’m not going to.

Instead, the one thing I want to tell you to find one thing to throw yourself into wholeheartedly. Just one.

You could be a part of 10 different clubs or organizations and enjoy what you do in each. But I don’t agree with that. That can lead to spreading yourself too thin, when what you should be doing is picking an organization that offers the proper balance of enjoyment and enhancing skills that will help you in the future.

My sophomore year I joined the Chronicle as a staff writer, and it was the best decision I made at Quinnipiac. As a liberal arts major I found myself wanting something more out of my experience, and with the newspaper I found not only numerous things I can add to my skill set, but confidence in my writing and leadership abilities, experience in other areas I never thought I’d explore, and a support system in a group of amazing people I might not have met otherwise.

I spent countless hours putting in as much effort as possible to make every issue the best it could be, and I wouldn’t take back a second of it. Even with the sleepless nights and inevitable frustrations, the experience I gained is something I couldn’t have gotten had I partaken in five other clubs as well.

The experience I’ve gained as part of the Chronicle is more valuable to me than any class I’ve taken in my four years. The Chronicle has given me leadership skills that I know will help me after I leave this place, and friends that will last a lifetime. At the end of my four years, I credit this organization and the people in it for making me who I am today and who I strive to be.

The best piece of advice I can give you is find yours. Work hard, and love what you do. I know I did.

Trust me, it’s worth every second.

 

Chris Leary(former Online Sports editor):

Well it’s been a long and successful run, but it’s time for my last post in the Quinnipiac Chronicle.

I would love to sit here and talk about what teamwork and organization mean to me as far as the Chronicle goes, maybe even toss in a few pointers to underclassmen, but I figure why not just go along with a nice May Weekend recap since it’s fresh in everyone’s mind. Besides, last time I wrote about ways to cut corners I got some real friendly comments on our website … don’t worry anonymous … I’m in the School of Communications, and not part of your precious School of Business.

May Weekend is unbelievable, but what makes it great is that its only a small exaggeration of what life is always like at Quinnipiac. I love it here. When the nice weather comes out, you couldn’t find a better time if you tried. Grilling food, games, boating shoes, hot shots walking around shirtless drinking out of whey protein containers, you name it … we got it.

Just like everyone else, I’m going to miss this place. I can’t even picture what life will be like without it. No more selling textbooks back for barbecue supplies, no more taking notes inside the book store because I sold my textbooks back for barbecue supplies, and especially no more refusing to take teacher evaluations to “their proper place.”

Now the only thing to do is call a spade a spade and enjoy the last two weeks of school. Then it’s off to Senior Week for one last hurrah. They better get ready because we’re about to storm it like Normandy.

 

Daniella Appolonia (former Arts & Entertainment editor):

As my tenure as an undergrad student comes to a close, I can’t help but feel that it’s all a little bittersweet. Of course it’s cliché, but it feels like just yesterday I moved into Irma, nervously made it through my first day of classes, and attended my very first Chronicle meeting.

During my freshman year, I was completely lost in terms of a career path; I was all over the place. Yet as I started writing for the newspaper, I found my niche. I found people who shared the same passions as me.

I never imagined that a staff of such remarkable, talented, and hard-working students would become my second family. And, I never imagined that I could possibly learn so much about journalism outside of the classroom. Most importantly, I am proud to have taken part in something that I believe is a vital component of our community.

I worked carefully alongside Nicole Fano this year to use A&E to showcase as many talented students and clubs from our campus as possible. I’m very excited about where the section is headed next. I couldn’t have asked for a better associate editor, and I have full confidence that Nicole will continue to strengthen A&E’s identity.

But, despite my four years with the newspaper, it feels all too short. I was reluctant to leave the last staff meeting for fear of what comes next, knowing that a chapter was closing all too abruptly, signaling the end of the road.

However, it’s time for a new team of diligent writers, editors, and designers to take over; and I’m truly excited about what the future holds for such a wonderful organization.

To Matt and Lenny, good luck to both of you – this paper was left in wonderful hands. To Joe, thank you for sharing your knowledge of journalism, and for your fearless effort to take this paper above and beyond.

To all those who made my experience at Quinnipiac a great one, I thank you. I’ll forever be grateful to the Chronicle staff and editorial board – thanks for making me feel at home.

Best of luck to my fellow graduating seniors in all their future endeavors.

Peace, love and music.

 

Julia Bucchianeri(former opinion editor):

I was told that as a graduating senior editor I had the option to write a farewell in the last issue of the Chronicle. I’ve sat here staring at my computer screen for a good three hours now. How am I supposed to say a proper farewell in only 300 words?

As I organize my thoughts and fight back tears, I want to remind the underclassmen to take advantage of everything Quinnipiac has to offer. Go to events, study abroad, join clubs, cheer for our athletic teams, go out with your friends on weeknights, get your work done but don’t stress like a crazy person in the process because the work will get done — it always does. I remember the day I moved into Irma like it was yesterday. Soak in every minute. Before you know it, it will be May of your senior year.

The past four years have been incredible and I have a lot of people to thank for that.

First and foremost, my family for their unconditional love and support, I wholeheartedly believe I am who I am today because of my amazing parents.

My friends who have turned into family; you bring nothing but “dat joy” into my life and I love each and every one of you for that.

My fellow Chroniclers, for the past three years of fun and friendship.

The many public relations and marketing professors I’ve had the opportunity to learn from, your knowledge and professional guidance is deeply appreciated.

And to my South Africa family, you’re “brill” and I will miss all of you.

So this is it. In 18 days, we will move that little tassel over and will no longer be students, but alumni. No longer living the college dream, but tossed into the real world. Those days will go fast but let’s enjoy it while we can … mostly during senior week. Congrats Class of 2011, we did it!

 

Robin Schuppert (former Sports editor):

Thank you.

Four years ago when I came to this school I knew I wanted to be a broadcast journalism major. At graduation, my diploma will still say broadcast journalism on it, but I never would have thought that four years later I would leave this school feeling more like a print journalism major in the end.

I started writing for the Chronicle toward the beginning of my junior year. Two years later, I’m leaving the paper as the sports editor with plenty of people to thank who have made the past two years a lot easier for me.

First of all, I have to thank the Sports Information Director Ken Sweeten; his assistant, Greg Ott; as well as their two graduate assistants, Lindsay Oliveri and Ross Bennett. For the past year, I have annoyed them as much as anyone, emailing them numerous times a week asking for interviews with coaches and players.

Lenny Neslin, our former sports editor, and next year’s Editor in chief – you were my right hand this year, always helping me edit stories, always making sure the sports section was all set and always doing the sports layout. I couldn’t have been the sports editor without your help. You made my life so much easier.

Thanks also to the sports staff. We had some very good features and stories throughout the year and I think this is most evident by the number or stories that were picked up by other websites. Good luck to those graduating, and keep up the good work to those who will be around next year.

And lastly, my best friend, my roommate and our Editor in chief, Joe Pelletier. You are a born journalist and and an even better leader. What you have done for this paper can not be described in words. Teachers, future employers, our staff, our eboard and most certainly myself, we all look up to for the work that you have done. You’ve elevated this paper to another level, and I think everyone on our eboard would agree when I say: This paper would not be where it is today if it weren’t for you.

Thanks for inspiring me to become a better writer and a better journalist, Joe.

 

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