Many coffees and cocktails ago I was a freshman; fifteen pounds thinner (thank you cocktails and endless amounts of fries and wings at the Victor), four years of education stupider, and a hell of a lot less stressed. But I wasn’t happier. The Rutgers experience has outlived my expectations, and I’m sure I owe most of what I know, who I’ve met, and the things I’ve done, to the Gleaner.
I met my best friend Kearstie here at the Gleaner and as I write these final words, she fixes my poor grammar and spelling for the last time, too. Kear will graduate in a few short weeks and I will follow in December. What will become of us? Something awesome I assume; we’re from Rutgers-Camden, and we’re Gleaner alumni.
The Gleaner has given me a lot in my four year run. From Commentary Editor, to Editor-in-Chief, to Lifestyles Editor, I’ve done a lot, and I’ve learned a lot. My first article was on the 2008 election. I pleaded with my readers to not overlook Hillary Clinton because of her husband’s mistakes. The writing was shaky, and back in the day the Gleaner had no Copy Editor, nor did we have a Layout Editor. We all had to hole up in the office and write, edit, and layout our sections. Boy have we come a long way.
Now a full-fledged operation the Gleaner has grown just as much as the writers and editors who have graced these pages. Oh, the friends we’ve all made, the jobs we’ve scored, and the conversations our office walls have heard. It’s been one hell of a ride. I only hope that students for generations to come have the opportunity to follow in our footsteps. Rutgers-Camden Gleaner forever.
I’ll miss my home away from home as I take these finals steps towards graduation. At least I’ll have my memories, my articles, and my success. I’m forever in debt to a few people who linger in these halls, they know who they are and the help they’ve lent. All I can really do at this point is share my knowledge and tips to survive this educational jungle. This amazing, stressful, complicated, RU Screw of a jungle that I hope it will always stay.
This is my last opportunity to share pretty much anything with all of you, so I must choose my advice wisely. First, spend time on campus. Don’t go to class and run home. Go to events, hang out in public places and talk to people. Who cares if you don’t know anyone, you will soon enough. This is a mistake I made. I went to class, holed up in the Gleaner office, and went home. I missed out on making a lot of great friends because I hid. I thought my friends from home would be enough; well when stuff gets rough there is nothing better than a network of Rutgers-Camden friends, trust me.
Go to class. I know this is widely repeated advice, but if you go to class, you will do well. I’ve been there, done it all. I once thought I could hang out and go on adventures with my friends, and Sakai would be there to save the day when I didn’t go to class. Well, guess what? It wasn’t. Professors actually talk about more than just what’s on the slides, and class discussion can actually be very stimulating, I promise.
Finally, get involved. If you don’t reach out and get involved, do internships, and network, you will spend the rest of your life in your parent’s basement. I’ve seen enough people graduate to know what works. Class and a 4.0 are not enough. Being involved makes you stronger, more confident, resourceful and knowledgeable.
Lastly, and probably most importantly, if you have a dream, fight to the death for it. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind and reach out to whoever you think will help get you there.
See you all in graduate school. Ciao.