May 20, 2022

The Westfield Voice

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To the loves of my nights and the loves of my life: A farewell to Westfield

6 min read


  • This is a preview of what the new profile will look like once changes are complete. photo by Facebook.com

This is it. This is the last time I will ever write for the Westfield Voice. No more front page articles, no more “Coffey Breaks”, and no more thinking people should know my name just because I wear the title of “News Editor” on my sleeve. From now on, I’ll just be another face in the crowd.

It takes me back to the morning of Freshman Orientation when I was just a new face. That morning, I had an anxiety attack. I was so nervous. I was coming from a city where everyone knew my family, and everyone knew my business. I was Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper, I was a cheerleader, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to leave my old life yet.

I was the only one from Everett coming to Westfield. Unwillingly too, at first. I never ever heard of the school. But, when the “Thanks but no thanks” letter came from Emerson and the “Dear Kylie, You Suck” letter came from UConn amongst the others, I packed my bags and headed to a place I didn’t know actually existed: Western Mass.

Looking back, there is no other place I would want to call home for the last four years other than Westfield State. I have learned so many life lessons (both in and out of the classroom), made so many mistakes, but earned even more achievements. I made a name for myself here, but I couldn’t have done it, or survived, without the people I am about to mention.

First and foremost, I want to thank my family. My mother, for showing me what it takes to be a strong, independent woman. My dad, for battling that Boston traffic just to come and get me when I needed him to. I feel it was a real bonding experience. My sisters, Faith and Chloe, who have shown me that there are more important things in life than myself. And my grandparents, who are my biggest support systems.

I want to thank my professors in the Communication Department. Every single one of you has taught me valuable lessons, not only from your knowledge of the field of Communications, but also from your life experiences. I will carry these lessons with me throughout my career and my life, and for that I thank you.

I especially want to thank three professors who have helped me in three different ways.

To Professor John Paulmann, who I like to call the Albus Dumbledore of the Communications Department, thank you for your wisdom and your power to believe in me. You truly made me feel like a star.

To Professor Henry Wefing, thank you for furthering my passion for journalism and recognizing my potential.

And to Professor Diane Prusank, thank you for teaching me that not everything will come easy in life. You made me realize I have to work for my achievements.

To my fellow Voice staff, we achieved so much more than delivering the news to the Westfield State campus. We are a team. I will never forget the friendships I made in the small office of Ely 305. To my seniors, Samantha, Alex, Rob, and yes, even you T-Mo, you have taught me so much.

Tyler, even though I spent many nights screaming at your grammatical errors, my first Mondays of the month would not be the same without your lack of an indoor voice. I hate to admit it, but I’ll miss it.

Alex, you have taught me that it is okay to venture out in the world, because when you come back, home will still be there.

Rob, you have taught me that if you are passionate about something that you should stick with it. All the hard work will pay off.

Samantha, if anyone, you have probably taught me the most. By example, you taught me to improve my writing. Through your relationship with Rob, you taught me that true love exists, and you taught me that you don’t need to see each other every day to be a true friend.

Finally, this last section is dedicated to all the people who have affected my life and shaped my four years of college. If you are taking the time to read this, there’s a chance you have affected my life in some way and I want to thank you.

College isn’t measured in the number of credits you graduate with, and while it is important, college at Westfield State is measured by so much more. It’s measured in the amount of money personally donated to Tommy D’s, Molts, Taco Bell, and other fine establishments. It’s measured in the number of all-nighters (the academic and the not-so-much), the number of pounds you gained from too many Busch Lights, the number of DC swipes you used in a week, the number of times an ISO knocked on your door, and the number of friends you can call family.

So this column is to you all, the loves of my nights and the loves of my life: my Westfield Family.

It’s sad that you spend every day of your life with a group of people and then, just like that, they are ripped from you. Yeah, you will keep in contact, make plans for the future and maybe you will follow through with them.  It’s just a fact that after college, life happens.  Careers, weddings, and starting a family will encompass your time. You aren’t in direct vicinity of your closest friends anymore.  It’s up to you to keep your friendships alive.

I will never forget the memories that I have had with you all, from the late nights that turned into early mornings to one of the best weeks of my life in South Carolina. You have all seen me at both my best and my worst, and never failed to remind me. You have humbled me and brought me down to earth, given me reality checks that I know I’ve needed.

So for my girls, the ones I’ve relied on when I need to complain about that one boy and the ones that have gone to bat for me so many times when I get dramatic and crazy, thank you.  You are the ones who have held my hair back when I was sick, talked me out of doing something stupid, and forgiven me for my mistakes. I have never really gotten along with many girls, but I’m glad I found the right ones.

My boys, the brothers I never wanted but I’m glad I have, thank you for showing me what it was like to have brothers, something I was never blessed with.  I feel like I got the full experience of it from the teasing and the jokes to the shoulders to cry on and having my back when I needed it most.

And to the other boys, the ones who have come and gone from my life but who will be ever imprinted in my heart, just a simple thank you. I might have cursed your names out plenty of times, but in the long run, you have taught me to never settle.

I may never be a famous writer with a best-selling novel and a guest column in The New York Times. I may never be the next real life Carrie Bradshaw. But my experiences at Westfield State University have proven to me that I could do anything I set my mind to. Through the triumphs, the tribulations, and the challenges I’ve faced here, I’m leaving with a Bachelor’s Degree, lifetime friends, and more writing material than I ever imagined I would.

So instead of ending with that Tom Petty quote that every college graduate should know, I will leave you, my fellow Owls, with a quote from a show that is near and dear to my heart.

“People come into your life and people go, but it’s comforting to know that the ones you love will always be in your heart.” – Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City.

 

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