By Garrett Cote
There were several times back in the fall I honestly didn’t think I would make it to this point.
The stress swarmed me every day. The stress of the unknown (what’s next in life), the stress of the present (classes, internship, being Co-EIC of the newspaper) and the pressure of doing it all to perfection.
But here I am, ready to say goodbye.
This week’s paper is the 25th and final one of the year, matching our total from a year ago. We produced over 40 stories at the 2023 Spalding Hoophall Classic in January, and the 15th edition of Pride Sports Journal is on its way.
Through the stress and burnout, this year has been a success. We accomplished everything we set out to do.
In the past, these columns have been about the person writing them. But my short time as a part of this newspaper has only been as successful and fun as it’s been because of the people around me. So, this is for them.
I have no choice but to thank Joe Arruda. He believed in me from the first time I walked into the newspaper office, and continued to push me to lean fully into the journalism world. If it weren’t for him, I would never have gotten the opportunity to be Co-Editor-in-Chief – like, actually, because he had to advocate hard for me after I botched the interview – and I would not be as strong of a reporter as I am now without your guidance. Thank you.
To those who will be carrying on the legacy and tradition of The Springfield Student, I have the utmost confidence in you to improve on everything we’ve accomplished this year.
Luke, you have been an absolute joy to work with. Watching your growth over the course of the year has made me proud – even though you prioritize a conversation you aren’t a part of over doing layout. But seriously, I can’t wait to see what next year brings.
To all of you rising sophomores – Corey, Liam, Nick, Patrick, River and Tucker – plus Sean, when you finally learn to get your stories in on time and conduct interviews in person, you guys have bright futures ahead of you. Solemnly, though, we would most certainly not be in the position we are without your contributions this year. Coming into the year with just five or six people on staff, we needed people to step up, and step up you did. Thank you.
Braedan, my guy. Having you around full-time this year has been extremely helpful. We share a lot of the same passions and possess a similar sense of humor. Because of this, we get absolutely nothing done when we’re next to one another in the office. You’ve been the backbone of our sports coverage this year, and I appreciate everything you bring to the table – even if it’s vegan.
My fellow seniors – Carley, Chris and Caitlin.
Carley, if it weren’t for you, I don’t think our coverage of the campus would have been as versatile and unique as it was this year. Your open mind and spirited personality have allowed us to broaden our scope to incorporate all kinds of groups at Springfield. Yes, we have had our fair share of arguments, but you’ve inspired me to become a better person and better friend – and I will forever appreciate you for that.
One of my favorite parts of this year has been the development of my friendship with Chris. Gionta, you are hands down the most un-funny funniest person I’ve ever met. You’ve kept me sane this year, no question about it. From our frustrating and stress-filled late nights with Pride Sports Journal (white space) to being the last one in the office with me every single Wednesday, you’ve been just as much of an EIC as anyone this year. There isn’t a doubt in my mind that you are going to succeed in this field. Thank you.
And you, Ms. Clout Kemp. I think our relationship could best be described as brother and sister. We annoy the hell out of each other, but there’s nobody I’d want to annoy me more than you. I’m not sure how you managed to balance being a student-athlete (which you’d make sure everyone in the office knows you are), having an internship, taking classes and also managing Co-EIC duties. You’re very driven and terrific at what you do. Thank you for driving me crazy all year long.
To the man who got my foot in the door – my advisor, Marty. I remember our first meeting like it was yesterday – your wisdom and experience drew me in. Even though it was over Zoom, I could feel that I was in the right place. When I switched into COSJ as a sophomore, smack in the midst of COVID, I had no clue what to expect. You soon took me under your wing and pretty much developed every single skill I have now. Everybody says you learn journalistic skills by doing it – which, to some degree, is true. But I learned a great deal from your classes, and I know I wouldn’t be the writer I am today without you. It’s been great growing closer and closer to you as our time together comes to an end.
And lastly, I want to thank quite literally the best human being on this campus, Aimee Crawford. Aimee, you have been nothing short of incredible (and yes, I’m using the word incredible) this year. Chris and I always joke that if you did even half of what you do for us, we’d still think you’re amazing – that’s how much you help our club. It’s not often you get to learn from one of the best, hands-on and up close, but I get to do that every single day. You’ve helped me grow as not just a journalist, but a man, and I cannot thank you enough for that. Words are what we do but I still can’t find enough to describe what you’ve meant to me over the past two years. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Although it is sad having to say goodbye to The Springfield Student, I am absolutely thrilled that I’ll never have to listen to Taylor Swift again. (Sorry, Carley.)
This year has been hard, and I still have no clue what I’m doing after I graduate, but I know that because of all of you, I am well equipped for whatever comes next.
Photo: Nick Storlazzi/The Springfield Student