As I write my last piece for the Vanguard, I’m realizing that I’ve reached the day where I’m moving to life outside of SVSU. For the first time since November 2009, I will not have this paper on my mind every day. The Vanguard has become a major part of my life, a part of which I’m so proud and grateful for. And it feels so strange to let it go.
To say I’ve gone through a lot of changes during my time at the Vanguard is an understatement. Encouraged by a friend to apply as a staff writer during my sophomore year, I could not imagine the positivity I would experience during my two and a half years here.
When I look back during my time as editor-in-chief, I also realize that this year has been far more eventful than I had expected. While I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Vanguard, there have been some extremely difficult challenges I wasn’t planning on facing.
In November, my grandmother passed away after a painful battle with cancer. As sad as it was for us, my family and I were prepared for it.
What we weren’t prepared for was what happened one month later.
The week before Christmas, my cousin was on his way home from college for winter break. He saw a car accident on a Minnesota highway and pulled over to help.
Within minutes of stepping out of his truck, he was hit and killed by a drunken driver. Through such a violent act, my cousin, who was so full of life and of love, was gone.
We were only six months apart in age, and having a family member pass away so young hit me hard. Words do not express the shock, the anger and the pain I felt and still feel with his passing. You never expect it will happen, until it does.
But this event was a major wake-up call. I started to re-evaluate my life, and I decided what I wanted from the remainder of my time at SVSU and beyond.
Some of my friends have commented on how different my overall demeanor has been this year, and they’re right. I’m trying a lot of new things.
I’m trying to be more accepting of things that happen in life, which is a major accomplishment for a control freak.
I’m trying to voice my appreciation for the people in my life regularly so they will never wonder if I care about them.
I’m still trying to embrace stress and frustration as much as I embrace relaxation and joy, because as long as I feel these emotions and every other emotion, I know I’m living life the way it was meant to be lived: in full.
But perhaps most importantly, I’m trying to get out of my comfort zone and go after great opportunities instead of avoiding them out of fear.
I’ve done my best to apply this philosophy during my time as editor-in-chief. My goal was to leave the Vanguard knowing I had made a positive impact with the paper and my colleagues in some way, and I hope I’ve done that.
The most phenomenal people work at the Vanguard. Most of them do not get nearly enough recognition for the time and effort they put in to making sure we have a paper every week. They sacrifice so much to help create something of which we can be proud.
Thank you, fellow Vanguardians, for making my time as editor inspirational, educational, and most importantly, fun. I know you will all continue to be phenomenal during the rest of your time at SVSU.
I also must thank two previous editors of the Vanguard for their encouragement, Sara Kitchen and Noah Essenmacher. They have supported me since my first day as a staff writer two and a half years ago. I’m blessed to have had the opportunity to learn from such intelligent, funny and wonderfully talented individuals.
Finally, I want to thank the SVSU community —administration, faculty, staff and students alike. It is a blessing to know how much support the Vanguard has, and I hope your support for the paper will continue to grow.
I’ll end my piece with something that sums up my time at SVSU. It comes from Conan O’Brien during his final episode of “The Tonight Show” in 2010. Even after being fired in a highly publicized dispute with NBC, he said something incredibly positive and inspirational that has stuck with me ever since. I’ll leave you with this quote, and I hope it will encourage you as much as it’s encouraged me:
“Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard, and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.”