Alex Thomas says farewell to the Springfield Student newspaper

Alex Thomas
Staff Editor
@Alex_Thomas14

 

alex thomas mug
Photo courtesy of Drew Broffman.

September of 2012 was, well, let’s call it interesting. I had just left everything that I had known in Woburn and headed about 100 minutes west to Springfield. It was a new journey that, quite frankly, I didn’t know what to expect from. A new school where, coming in, I only knew one person, was kind of a scary thought to me. I quickly learned that this school had a lot to offer and that the major I was joining, Communications/Sports Journalism, had a TON to offer me. Four years later, I’m so grateful for the opportunities I have received, and I can hardly believe that it’s over.

As I write this column on a rainy Tuesday, I know what I’m about to embark on, the final 72 hours of a weekly routine that I’ve known all year long and, really, for four years. On Tuesday, I write my page two column, then on Wednesday I begin preparations for SCTV3, and, finally, on Thursday night, I go through the process of running our campus TV station and its news program. As of Friday morning, I’ll never do that again on this campus. Woah.

Leaving this campus in just two and a half weeks means leaving friends and essentially a second family. To me, however, the strangest thing is going to be leaving the major that I’ve been a part of for four years, a major that I’ve poured a lot into via all three clubs. It’ll be strange, and there’s some people I need to thank before saying goodbye.

From the newspaper side, Marty Dobrow spent time as my advisor and pushed me to do more writing, which I must thank him for. Giving me the chance to write this column throughout the year was one of the better breaks I’ve gotten here. It’s allowed me to become a better writer and to express opinions on topics I could never express before. Pat Kenney, who was supportive of everything I wrote this year even if he didn’t agree, is also a person I must thank. He was a lot of fun and easy to work with, something that seems so rare in the field of journalism today.

I also need to take some time to thank Jody Santos, who was a mentor to me throughout my four years on this campus. While working for SCTV3, I was pushed to be better, Jody, and I believe that is the reason why I am where I am today. From the classroom to the TV studio, I always felt like I owed my best work not to myself, but to the person who believed in me from day one on this campus. Her guidance and support has helped lead me down the path that has made me who I am as a journalist.

To my friends and mentors, Connor Getz, Nick Lovett and Bri Hill. The three of you inspired me beyond belief and I can’t thank you enough for that. Connor, you believed in me from my freshman year when I didn’t think I could do it, and you helped mold me into someone who could run SCTV3. Bri, everything I know about writing a script, being an anchor and being a professional comes from you. I learned more than you could imagine from watching you work. Nick, your ability to give me actual feedback helped me get better, and having you as someone to lean on when I took over as President of SCTV3 helped me through that transition. I learned a lot about leadership and decision making from you.

To the people I worked with in SCTV3 and the Springfield Student throughout the years, thank you. You all helped push me and you all were so much fun to work with. Some of my best memories of going to this school will be those Thursday nights spent in the basement of Weiser Hall prepping for a TV show. Whether it was goofing off and just having a good time hours before going on air, or whether it was rolling up the sleeves and getting to work, those are times I’ll never forget. Those are the times I will miss so much.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank Kyle Belanger, who was there so much for me when I needed help with something, or Dennis Gildea, who made me feel comfortable here and who, without knowing, made me feel at ease back in my freshman year in Intro to Journalism.

My last thank you goes to my friends and my family. From the guys who I’ve lived with for four years to the friends I have made in this major, I thank you for putting up with late nights of me writing, getting stressed out about how TV was going to go, or falling behind a deadline because I took on too much….again. My family, especially my parents, who helped me throughout these four years more than they realize, thank you.

Four years ago I came onto this campus not knowing what to expect. Four years later, I wonder just where time went, but leave here with some awesome experiences, memories and friends. Thank you to everyone who was a part of this journey in any way; I wouldn’t trade any of it. Farewell, Springfield Student.

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