Senior sendoffs

Before graduating, the seniors of The Quinnipiac Chronicle each wrote a sendoff summarizing their experiences on The Chronicle and as Quinnipiac students

By on May 1, 2019

Christina Popik – Remember your roots

As I wrap up my time at Quinnipiac, I have spent a lot of time recently self-reflecting on my four-year journey.

As a graphic design major, my capstone project is to essentially go back and compile all of my best projects and present them in a print portfolio and website. In anticipation of this project since freshman year, I knew I needed to try very hard to get the best portfolio pieces to succeed in this field.

Christina Popik
I came across an old poster I made my senior year of high school for the school play “Annie.” I remember spending hours on this poster, sketching and re-sketching to make it something people couldn’t possibly keep their eyes off of. Now, it definitely isn’t my best work but one of my proudest at the time. Not only that but it was that project that made me realize that I wanted to pursue an education in design, even though I wasn’t really sure what exactly “graphic design” was yet.

Fast-forward to college, being overwhelmed by school, jobs, extracurriculars, stress and life in general makes it easy to forget why we are doing something.

I love my career path because I get to spend my days making my ideas and visions come to life and share them with the world, but there are times when it doesn’t always feel as rewarding as it sounds.

Looking through old projects has reminded me that it is important no matter where you are in your career not to forget your roots because it is that first gleam of passion that helps push you to go earn your success, whatever that may be.

Closing this chapter is the most terrifying and exciting thing I’ve yet to approach in my life. School has always been a safety net from the real world because the failures and the mess ups don’t seem too bad when you’re learning and there are mentors to help you pick up the pieces.

One of my most cherished experiences at Quinnipiac has been thanks to The Chronicle, where I’ve gotten to learn so many valuable lessons and prepare the best I can for the whirlwind of things life has yet to throw at me.

I truly owe so much of my personal strength and success to student media. It’s given me a place at Quinnipiac and a platform to grow my passion. From the friendships to the work to the leadership, I would not be where I am as a person, leader or designer without The Chronicle.

If you are struggling to find your place at QU, just follow your passion. I promise you it will be your best navigation tool.

Logan Reardon – Something we’re all looking for

Consistency.

In life, there isn’t much of it. That’s especially true in college. Between changing geographic locations, roommates and jobs, most college students are all over the place during their four years.

I’m no different.

I entered Quinnipiac’s accelerated 3+1 program a little less than three years ago. Since then, I’ve lived in Massachusetts, Connecticut and California. I’ve had different roommates all three years. I’ve worked as a lawn mower in Massachusetts, a newsroom intern at the Record-Journal in Meriden, Connecticut, an editorial intern at NFL Media in Los Angeles and a digital intern at NBC Sports in Stamford, Connecticut.

Throughout all these different life experiences in the last three years, one thing about my college life has remained consistent – The Quinnipiac Chronicle.

I joined the Chronicle during my first week on campus in August 2016 and I’ve been at it ever since. Obviously, it seemed intimidating at first, and I probably didn’t do as much as I should’ve my first year. But it was the start of something.

After a summer of mowing lawns back home and a shuffle of roommates, I was promoted to associate sports editor. This meant new responsibilities, but also new opportunities. Every deadline day Tuesday brought a different challenge. Whether it was helping my sports editor (shoutout Justin Cait) lay out the paper or finishing up the weekly rundown, there was always something to do.

The next semester, I moved up to sports editor and started interning at the Record-Journal. Being sports editor meant communicating with the athletic department, assigning articles to young writers and staying in touch with the executive board.

I spent the summer of 2018 in California and then returned last fall with another different mix of roommates. The Chronicle was still there, though.

Finally, in my last semester, I was promoted to web director. This change brought some unknowns. I had to post everything to the website and on social media throughout each week.

If you’re still here after reading through my autobiography of the last three years, I hope you’ve learned one thing. College students go through so many different phases of life in such a short time. Student organizations and clubs on campus are likely the only thing that will remain the same.

Some deadline Tuesday’s were better and some were worse – believe me, sometimes it was worse – but the Chronicle was one thing that was always there for me.

For the new editorial board, embrace those tough Tuesday’s – because soon you’ll be writing this sad piece about how you’re going to miss them. And whether you realize it or not, those Tuesday’s are the most consistent thing in your college life.

For now, I guess I’m going to start searching for another consistency in my life.

Madison Fraitag – Through the good times and the bad

Graduation.

How does that word make you feel? When I was a freshman, it was an ambitious goal that excited but scared me. As a sophomore, it was all I wanted, thinking that college was juvenile and that I was ready to move on. As a junior, it became a term laced with anxiety, realizing that my time as a Bobcat was dwindling. And now…

Urban dictionary defines “Graduation Goggles” as “The relief and nostalgic feeling one has about a time in their life when it is about to end, even if the time was completely miserable.”

Let me tell you, plenty of my time at Quinnipiac was just that: completely miserable. I’d be lying if I said that some of that misery had never rooted from my time on The Chronicle, however, with my goggles strapped on tight, I can’t help but consider all of the amazing things that this organization has given me.

While there have been many lessons learned, many late nights full of stress-induced tears, many unbelievable opportunities afforded and even more laughs and smiles shared with my fellow Chron-afflicted friends, five things stick out in my mind that I would never have had if it were not for The Chronicle.

Leadership

If not for the consistent growth and challenges that I’ve received since my first staff meeting in fall 2015, I would never have experienced the leadership roles and responsibility that I have taken on at QU. While this leadership began with The Chronicle, it stemmed to other media organizations including Montage: The Literary and Art Journal and the Greek Life community, where I was able to serve as a chapter president, an Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life intern and a recruitment counselor. These experiences are the ones that taught me the most, and none of them would have happened without The Chronicle.

Mentorship

Every student at QU has had great professors. I myself have had the privilege to learn from dedicated, knowledgeable educators both in the School of Communications and out. However, this would have been true had I joined The Chronicle or not. The mentorship that The Chronicle provided me was neither academic nor professional, but rather personal and meaningful guidance from students who had shared the same experiences as I had and invested their time and energy to help me succeed.

Diversity

As a Film, Television and Media Arts major, I never expected to learn to write fluently in AP Style, to lay out spreads and content on InDesign or to manage a university-wide social media account. By beginning with writing and having the opportunity to learn from other students in my free time, I was able to grow as a writer, designer, photographer, editor and eventually as a mentor to other students. This range of experience and skills is what helped land me my three internships and what will (eventually) help me attain a full-time position after graduation.

Responsibility

I am only 22 years old. Many of my peers can’t keep track of their social calendars, let alone multiple jobs, executive board positions and academic requirements. Because of the regiment and routine cycle of responsibility that The Chronicle taught me to manage, I have grown to hate the feeling of having nothing to do, and can confidently check “time management” off of my list of skills to attain.

Connections

The Chronicle can be a lot of work. Like, seriously, more work than a 16-credit course load and two jobs. And yes, I originally joined to learn and grow as a student and eventually as a young professional, but I can guarantee you that I would not have stuck around for as long as I have if it weren’t for the friendships and connections that I gained through this unparalleled organization. I have met the most hard-working, dedicated, kind, funny and overall insane people that QU has to offer, and because of The Chronicle, I am privileged to call all of them my peers, many of them my friends, some my sorority sisters and a select few my roommates, confidants and best friends.

I have The Chronicle to thank for much of the “miserable” times at QU, but also for all of the amazing times. If I could go back to the beginning, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Jennie Torres – Become a better you

This wasn’t supposed to happen to me. I was supposed to just brush past these four years by attending my classes, doing my homework, and repeat. Yet, being a part of The Quinnipiac Chronicle helped me recognize that I could accomplish so much more during my time at college.

I came to Quinnipiac telling myself that my purpose for being here was to study and get my degree. Nothing more. I wasn’t open to seeing myself in any other sort of situation that involved exploring anything outside of the classroom.

I find it ironic though that my greatest passion in life involves having to share my voice with other people, that passion being writing. I hope to one day be regarded as a famous novelist who writes creative fictional fantasy dramas. This dream is the main reason why I joined The Chronicle.

I figured that since the organization involved a lot of writing that it would give me some tips on how to become a better author. But what I gained after these years offered more than I predicted.

Although creative writing and journalistic writing aren’t normally seen as the same type of work, I’ve gotten skillful at addressing stories with a flair that only I can exhibit. I was eager to make my articles uniquely mine, and over time I found myself taking pride in the work I would do.

The glee in my heart when I would see my story make front page, or how I would leave a copy of the issue in my suite for my roommates to read, that’s when I knew that I loved my job.

I don’t know what I was thinking though. If I wasn’t comfortable being around other people, why would I chose to stay at a club whose sole purpose was to talk to people every single week? I think my past self would say it was to improve her writing, but my senior self is saying that it was more so to improve myself as a whole.

There’s always been this urge inside of me to get outside of my comfort zone that wasn’t fully expressed until I got to college because I felt like there was always someone better and more talented than me. However, The Chronicle helps you see that the work that you do as all yours. You are the one who has to search for people to interview and you are the one that is formatting your article into a story worth reading.

I have to thank The Chronicle for giving me the confidence to see that I can do great things that could be a benefit to me that doesn’t involve studying for a test, and giving me co-workers that I can leave this university saying that they are my friends.

I would advise students to push themselves to do things that they’re afraid of doing because it’s possible that you may just be fantastic at it. After all, with a bit of healthy fear you’ll always be on your feet doing the best you can to improve whatever organization you join and for a lot of people, that’s all they need.

Amanda Perelli – Still learning

Disclaimer: I still have no idea if these senior send-offs are for ourselves, our staff or for the person reading it. I’ve decided to dedicate my senior send-off to you, the reader, and I hope my trifling life experiences either entertain you or help you learn not to take life too seriously.

I’m only 21 (almost 22 though) years old and I actually don’t believe that seniors in college have much wisdom at all, we are quite literally just about to start truly living. But, I have run into some interesting situations as a young professional (ew, I promise I won’t say that again) in the communications field that is, I guess, worth sharing.

***
No one is going to look you in the eye and say this when you sign the form declaring a major in journalism, but I believe this can really make or break someone:
People are going to share their (key word) unwarranted opinions on your work and you need to remain calm. I know you didn’t ask what they thought and–wow you don’t even know that person and they searched your email and decided they could help you with your (and this is a real email I’ve gotten) “number of grammatical and mechanical errors.” Listen up, when you decide to publish something it’s no longer yours, it’s the reader’s and they’ll interpret it however they want. You lose all ownership–except when it doesn’t go over well. Then you need to rapidly grow a thick skin and remember everything you learned in that one PR class you took freshman year. (Sorry that one was super specific to only me, please just keep reading).

I’m sharing this because I thought when I majored in journalism I would live a beautiful poetic life, sitting in coffee shops with a moleskine notebook. After joining The Chronicle, I quickly learned that that is not the case (and if your life is like that please email me). I’m not perfect and chances are you’re not either. I’ll never be a perfect writer and honestly, I could care less about being grammatically correct because, for me, writing has always been an artistic form of expression, not a math equation…sorry. Don’t take every Facebook post, comment or email reaction too seriously and throughout it all, remember who you are.

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Nine out of 10 times you are going to be completely alone…unless you ask for help. I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to complain about how hard it was to be the managing editor and halfway through help run the news section of The Chronicle, because in the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t. But often times when challenging situations surfaced, I found myself struggling to ask for help. I thought people would come running to save…my mess. They won’t and I think this can go for anything in life. If you want help, you can either ask for it or you can wipe your tears and deal with that problem head on. Also remember, if your job isn’t challenging at times then it’s really not worth doing.

OK, I think I’ve reached my word count. Special thanks to The Quinnipiac Chronicle for believing in me, teaching me these exceptionally valuable lessons and giving me a platform to write, you can send me off now.

 Jeremy Troetti – Believe it

November 2015 – The tears streamed out of my freshman eyes because I thought I couldn’t do it.

April 2019 –The tears streamed out of my senior eyes because I knew it was over.

The story of how I joined The Chronicle is a little different than most – I actually did not join because of the involvement fair. I joined The Chronicle in late October of my freshman year after finally gaining the courage to do so.

My journalism story is also a little different than you might hear from others. I was never someone who always knew from childhood what I wanted to do when I grew up. In fact, journalism kind of just fell into my lap. After writing articles about baseball (ask anyone, it’s basically my favorite thing in the world) for my high school newspaper, the thought occurred to me, ‘Hey, I may be good at this.’

Now before I make it sound like some sort of happily-ever-after story, let me tell you, journalism didn’t come to me as naturally as I thought it would upon entering college.

Prior to my time at Quinnipiac, I had never interviewed anyone in my life.

But as an overconfident freshman, I thought it would be no big deal. I was wrong.

I struggled mightily to get student reactions for articles. For whatever reason, I could barely bring myself to walk up to a random person and ask their opinion on whatever I was writing about.

After struggling with my first few articles, I retreated to my cramped freshman dorm. The tears came out.

I didn’t think I could be a journalist – I was sure of it.

To make a long story short, through the acquisition of a Chronicle press pass and some soul searching, I was ultimately able to conquer my fear.

Following my first article using my press pass, I finally felt confident. I remember a little voice inside my head telling me something when I saw that article published: Believe it.

However, I was not the only one who believed in me.

Throughout my years on the Chronicle, I’ve had the pleasure to work beside the most talented, hardworking and understanding people I’ve ever been around. There was not a time I had a question that wasn’t answered, or that I was yelled at for not having a polished article on the first draft. My time working with these folks meant the world to me, and I will forever be grateful for their belief in me.

The Chronicle-induced tears returned a few weeks ago. But this time it was not a struggling writer tearing up, but a proud senior who received the greatest gift of all from The Chronicle – the ability to believe in himself.

To all those who I have had the honor and blessing to work beside for the past four years, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

And if anyone is questioning whether The Chronicle is one of the greatest organizations you can be a part of at Quinnipiac, then I have two words for you.

Believe it.

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