Senior send-off: From freaking nerd to educated, freaking nerd
In truth I owe my life and my future to The Hofstra Chronicle. Being editor this past year, assistant the year prior and a staff writer for all four years, my view as an arts-focused journalist has expanded way beyond the horizon I originally envisioned for myself as a naïve 18-year-old freshman.
As I’m preparing to leave Hofstra after this whirlwind of four years, I can’t help but appreciate all the opportunities that The Chronicle and its staff have given me, both personally and professionally.
I was incredibly nervous when I arrived as a first-year student in 2014. Up to that point, I’d been so headstrong about wanting to go into journalism so I could write reviews for video games. That was my passion, my obsession, but most importantly, my goal.
I remember after those first couple weeks, I was apprehensive. I’d met all these wonderful and innovative storytellers in the Rensselaer Communications House, people who were genuinely interested in telling stories. I felt like an outcast, second-guessing my choice. All I wanted to write about was video games. So when I started taking journalism classes, I felt out of place.
I wasn’t a very good interviewer, my instincts for finding angles in a story were weak and I had trouble putting words on paper. All my life I’d heard from professors that I was a good writer in my English and literature classes, but when it came to journalism, my skills were seriously lacking. I felt like I was shoe-horning myself into a corner writing about video games, which even today aren’t quite the mainstream hobby like sports, music or movies.
I started writing for The Chronicle my freshman year after talking with an incredibly kind A&E editor named Liz Merino. She had a positive and welcoming energy when I first approached her at the general interest meeting. What inspired me most was her genuine excitement for everyone’s story and column ideas, no matter the subject. “Well, I’m no gamer ...” she said, which is usually what everybody says whenever I mention video game reviews, yet she encouraged me to write for that first issue of the semester.
“Destiny” was my first review ever, a game I’d so needlessly obsessed over during those first few months at Hofstra. Since then I’ve gone on to write a total of 35 video game reviews for The Chronicle over the past four years, all self-funded by my struggling bank account, all in pursuit of the dream.
I was grateful for the Briannas (Brianna Holcomb and Brianna Ciniglio, the A&E editors that succeeded Liz) to continue publishing my pieces and allowing me to become an assistant editor for my junior year.
That was when I began to broaden my horizons as an art writer in general. As I started copy editing other writers’ pieces, I would study the subjects they were writing about in detail to try to determine their motivations behind sentiments expressed in their feature or review. As I began reading about music, TV, films and books, I gained a better understanding of those art mediums and in turn improved my intellectual scope for when I wrote my own reviews.
Aside from writing, I met some of the nicest, most ambitious and supportive friends at The Chronicle. Though they may not necessarily know me all that well, The Chronicle staff means much more to me than they could ever know, more than I could ever articulate. I love you all so much.
Also to Samantha Storms and Joseph Coffey-Slattery, the newly minted editors. I know you both are going to do a bomb ass job. I showed you as much as I could, but here’s to hoping you take this section farther than I ever could.
I wouldn’t have become a better writer, gained a new perspective on art as a whole, been accepted into my internship or even graduated without The Hofstra Chronicle.
I owe everything to The Chronicle and the wonderful people behind it. To all writers and readers, family and friends, I wouldn’t have come as far as I have without you. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.