As the end of my college career approaches, I find myself getting more and more uncomfortable about how big the world actually is outside of the basement of Fedor Hall.
When I drive out of my regular parking spot in the residence lot, I imagine I will feel a bit too much like Dustin Hoffman did in The Graduate — and I have a lot of Mrs. Robinsons to thank.
First and foremost, my parents. Mom and Dad: Thank you for always pushing me to succeed in everything I do and for letting me choose my own path. Without your support, I wouldn’t have been so driven. For everything you have done for me, I love you both more than I can write.
To the journalism department: Thank you for accepting a confused telecommunications major into your curriculum with such wide-open arms. Mary Beth Earnheardt: You constantly made me feel like the Little Engine That Could, and, because of you, I finally believe that I will. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for everything you have taught me and how tolerant you have been of my profanity.
Tom Pittman: I am running out of fingers and toes to count how many times you have bent over backwards for me. You are the person who originally got me interested in written journalism and, because of your news reporting class, I will always know that I am number one in your heart, even above Jordan Uhl, and I hope you know that you are number one in mine.
To my editor-in-chief, friend and brother, Josh Stipanovich: I couldn’t have handpicked a better boss. You always found the perfect balance between being my friend and my mentor, and you always guided me when I needed you the most. Thank you for letting me cry on your shoulder in the conference room and for dealing with all of my unnecessary, procrastination-driven visits to your desk. There isn’t a pair of headphones thick enough to keep me away. I can’t wait to see what you do with your future.
Doug Livingston: You scared and intimidated me to no end for the first six months of our work relationship. I will never forget the day you said to me, as I was working on the cup-stacking story, “Would you have contacted these people if I hadn’t told you to?” From that point on, you have been, without a doubt, my biggest mentor. I admire your journalistic abilities and respect your criticism. It has made me a better journalist, person and worker. You don’t need my “good luck,” but I will admit, I’ll miss you.
Bestie, Kacy Standohar: You will forever be my co-awesome. We have more jokes, memories and stories than anyone in the office, and maybe even the world. I can’t fit them in to one measly paragraph. When I walk out of the doors of The Jambar, we will have so many more adventures of our own. Thank you for supporting me in everything I have done and for sending me texts about people that were sitting right next to us most of the time and telling secrets from behind our computers. If I could leave you with one word of advice, it would be to not, under ANY circumstance, blow bubbles at an editors’ meeting. I love you, blood buddy. There is no doubt in my mind that you’ll be all of the awesome next year. I love you with all of my heart, buzz kill.
My new fwiend, Jordan D. Uhl: I can’t discount the fact that we used to be arch nemeses, but I couldn’t be happier that the tides have turned. We found our fwiendship too late in my college career, but I can only imagine that you will be in the backseat of my car for all of our future trips to Pittsburgh. You stay classy, Planet Fitness. Always keep the Constitution handy.
Catullo: I have never been so proud of a co-worker before. We have become so close during my time at The Jambar, and I have seen so much initiative in you that it has made me want to work harder. You’re always there to make everyone laugh, but when I need someone to talk to, you are one of the first people I can turn to. Thank you for being you, and for teaching me how to play catch. It’s multimedia editor time!
Marissa: You are such a kind and genuine person, and often just seeing you puts a smile on my face. I love hearing your debates about the Titanic and music and our bonding sessions during quick trips in the Beetle. I’m sorry I wasn’t awake to protect you from inebriated Joe Catullo that fateful night in Columbus, but just like always, you were strong enough to hold your own. I can’t wait to see the flair you bring to the A&E page next year. Keep rockin’, girlie. I’ll miss you.
Chris, before I knew you, I thought you were a big, egotistical, stubborn jerk. While I still think you’re gwoss, I can say that my opinion about you has completely changed. You are still all of those things, but now I know how well you wear them. You have a very different way of criticizing people, and it usually ends in tears, but it made me get my s–t done, and done well. I can’t believe you’re going to be in charge of an entire group of people next year. This is a really bad idea.
Sam Marhulik, you are my number one office confidante. I can tell you any secret, any story or any completely irrelevant fact, and you will always be there to listen. Your sarcasm and wit always makes me laugh, mostly because we share that trait with each other, and I’m often one of the only people who gets it. You will do so many impressive things with your life, but please don’t ever lose your passionate hatred toward the new Transformers movies.
Zee, I mean, Jeff: (Read this paragraph in a British accent.) Even though you always gave me a hard time about the holes in my sweatpants and my desire to shop at a thrift store before Nordstrom, I could always ask you for the most unruly advice. When I leave, make sure you keep reminding Trevor to eat his parsnips and drink his acidophilus milk.
Lamar: We are friends, neighbors and enemies, all in one. You’re nicer than people think you are, and I’ve seen it. Before you graduated, you took me under your wing and accepted me as a foolish little workshopper. Thank you for putting up with my crap and keeping me in line.
To everyone else, especially Jenna, Pat and Sarah: Journalism only allows so much room to be sentimental. But that does not mean that you haven’t left your own impact on my life. I can’t wait to see what comes of the paper next year and what you accomplish in your life. Good luck, and just keep writing.