When I was a first year, my co-workers at The Campanil used to speak negatively of me. They said that judging by my first article, there was no way I was ever going to get accepted in the Columbia University Journalism School. When I was a junior, they told me that my hard work was worth no more than $300 for the year, while my colleagues were earning twice as much, or even ten times as much. That same year, I was told by my advisor that my “unprofessional” practices were not going to get me accepted into any study abroad programs.
Every single one of those people were absolutely wrong about me, because I can, and I did.
I accomplished so much during my time here because, contrary to all those who firmly believed I couldn’t do anything, that I wasn’t worth anything, I had an amazing support system. Meredith May convinced me that journalism was my calling. Her patience was comforting, but also helped solidify my strong work ethic. Diana Arbas’ constant encouragement showed me that my initiative was actually a distinctive boldness that will take me far. Jen Ramos and Melodie Miu showed me that I can be a well-rounded journalist, who can code, do multimedia projects and anything under the sun. They were the first to really take their time with me and show me just how capable I am. They taught me that I have something to fight for. My best friend, Cheryl Reed, taught me that my journalism is my activism and that my voice matters. Her bold tenacity showed me that I deserve to speak up for what I want because I am worth it.
Everyone on The Campanil staff this year has gone out of their way to make me feel like, for the first time, I am a valued member of the team. I actually looked forward to going to work because I knew they would be there to make me laugh through the most stressful times of my life.
Because of everything these people selflessly taught me about myself, I was ready to study abroad in Morocco, where I studied French and Journalism. When I came back, I felt invincible. All of those negative things I was accustomed to feeling early on didn’t matter anymore because I was sure that in reality, I can make things happen on my own.
After I leave here, I will be attending Columbia University to obtain my master’s degree in journalism. I will carry with me my passion for social justice, uplifting fellow queer journalists of color in an industry that still isn’t making great strides in doing so.
Farewell, my darlings.