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Co-Editor-in-Chief Cait Kemp speaks on her journey to finding her way at Springfield

By Cait Kemp

I hate change.

Ever since I was a little girl, anything that had to do with changing a normal tradition or occurrence in my life really bothered me. It’s never been the little things, like daily tasks or keeping a specific schedule every day. For example, when my family decided to switch from going to Narragansett every summer to Hampton Beach, I freaked out. I remember crying in the car when my mom mentioned it, completely upset that something that big in our lives was going to be different.

Unfortunately I’ve always been like this and still am today. As you can imagine, adapting to college was very hard for me. I knew it would be difficult, I said it every day leading up to when I finally left for preseason. I was going to hate it and I would not have an easy time with such a drastic life change.

Ding ding ding! You guessed it, I was miserable (at least I’m self-aware). I cried every day of preseason, after practicing for hours in the close-to 100-degree heat. I wasn’t super close with anyone and it was hard to make friends when every day after our busy schedule I just wanted to shower and go straight to sleep.

It took me almost the entire first semester to finally not hate college. I stopped crying on Sunday when my mom would drive me back to campus after yet another weekend home – I stopped going home every weekend in general. I finally liked where I was, what I was doing and who was around me.

Now, after becoming so attached to Springfield College and the people I have met here, I once again have to be ripped away from my norm and experience change. Instead of crying about having to come back, I am crying over leaving. It makes me regret all the weekends I went home instead of staying here with my friends and the days I wished college away, waiting for it to be summer again. It’s so cliche, because everyone does it and everyone then feels exactly like this when it’s finally coming to an end. However, I know the change will bother me more than I wish it did.

Leaving behind what I’ve built here – the friendships, the community, the work that I have done – is something that really does make me sad. Coming in as a freshman just trying to get through the week to now wishing the days were so much longer proves that I have come a long way.

Thinking about my journey I can’t help but focus on my journey specifically as a journalist at Springfield College. When I think back to my writing and what I did for the Student my first year compared to now, I can truthfully say that I am proud of myself and my growth. I am even more proud of the growth of the people around me and the opportunity I have had to watch others discover their own voices within their writing.

To the group of writers we had this year, it was such a blessing to have you all on the staff. After struggling to assign stories in past years and scrambling to fill pages, it was relieving to know we had the great staff behind us each week to produce amazing work.

To the staff editors this year: Braedan and Luke. Getting to work with you this year was way too much fun. I feel like we got so much closer as a staff and as friends and that made the long Wednesday nights so much easier. I am so proud of each of you and how hard you have worked this year. I know The Student is in good hands in the future.

Chris Gionta – intramural softball MVP. I have enjoyed working with you this year, at both the Student and MassLive. Your quiet and calm demeanor but quick sense of humor is so fun to be around and I appreciate your extremely well-timed jokes. Your hard work, especially in this final stretch with PSJ, was just insane and I commend you for your efforts.

In a major and profession that is so male-dominated, I have been grateful to have Carley on this journey with me and I appreciate the friendship we have had these past four years. You are so passionate and it is what makes you shine as a writer and simply as a person. I know you will take your strong voice and love for telling important stories with you wherever you go moving forward.

Garrett, my Co-Editor-in-Chief, it has been a pleasure to lead alongside you and watch you flourish in this role. I am impressed every day by your admirable writing and storytelling and I am glad I have been able to learn from you along the way. You have pushed me to strive to be better, and that is the best thing you could have done for me.

Marty Dobrow! My beloved advisor. I will never forget you telling me that you saw something in me, back in 2019 at June orientation, before you had ever even read any of my writing. That instant confidence you had in me meant so much and it gave me the boost I needed to get involved and start my writing experience here.

And most importantly, thank you Aimee Crawford. You have been like my school mom, and all the journalism stuff aside, I am so thankful to have had you at Springfield the past two years. I am grateful to have not only learned so much from you, but to simply know you. I cannot thank you enough.

A quick special thanks to my friends. I wouldn’t be here without the amazing people I have met at Springfield College, as well as my best friends from home who continue to support me from afar. My family is my greatest support system, so one final thank you to my parents and brother. Without you I would be nothing.

Change sucks, especially leaving behind something as wonderful as this, but unfortunately I have to encounter it. My high school senior quote comes to mind, and works perfectly once again in this season of change: “Whether or not you face the future, it happens.” -Duckie, Pretty in Pink, 1986.

Photo: Cait Kemp/The Springfield Student

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