Bittersweet ending, new beginning

By Associate Editor

Despite not traveling much out of the state of Michigan, I was brave enough to leave my home and family behind for a new life in Chicago. Now I am proud to say I will be the first in my immediate family to graduate from college. 

Coming from a single-parent household in Detroit, Michigan, I knew my family would only be able to do so much. With that said, I knew my success—or failure—would mostly rest on my shoulders. For that reason, I want to thank Noah Thomas and the staff members at the Conaway Achievement Project; Chris Richert, general manager of The Chronicle; Stephanie Goldberg, assistant faculty adviser at The Chronicle; and the National Association of Black Journalists for supporting me when I needed it the most. Without you all, I would not have been able to graduate. 

I would not be the journalist I am today without my professors. I can safely say my professors—whether I liked it or not—pushed me way out of my comfort zone. Their assignments kept me up at all hours of the night and sent me to questionable parts of Chicago. They made me laugh and brought me to tears. They toughened me up and made my tolerance for criticism better. Thanks for kicking my butt and preparing me for the real world. 

During my time at Columbia, my mother, grandparents and my uncle have been key to maintaining my sanity and seeing the bigger picture. To my family—especially my uncle Jimmy and aunt Martha, who are no longer with me—thank you for seeing me through to the end. Thank you for loaning me $20 when I needed it and listening to me while I was stressed. Thank you for showing me love and believing in me when I doubted myself. 

As for my four semesters on staff at The Chronicle, I can describe it in two words: roller coaster. 

I have gained mostly sober, talented friends. As a reporter for the campus desk, I have repeatedly vexed administrators, faculty and editors to the point where doing my job had become nearly unbearable. 

To my colleagues who made my life easier—and sometimes grueling—I really appreciate it. It did not break me; it made me that much stronger. 

I remained dedicated to telling stories that mattered to the Columbia community, even if it made my life slightly more difficult in the process. Graduation makes me anxious for the loans and other bills I will have to pay and excited for the opportunities coming my way. Maybe I will stay in Chicago, or maybe I will head back to D-Town. Either way, I look forward to doing what I love. 

To Tyler Eagle, my raunchy Editor-in-Chief; Maria Castellucci, our comical Opinions Editor; Megan Purazrang, a benevolent campus desk alumna and a reporter at the Franklin Favorite in Franklin, Tennessee; and Donald Wu, a sweet former graphic designer at The Chronicle and the rest of my fellow Chron Kids, I look forward to seeing the stories you tell in the future. To my future, bring it on. I’m ready.