When I approached the Vanguard stand at the Fall 2019 Club Fair, I was almost assaulted by a few cheery kids who waved a newspaper at me before demanding my name and number. I was startled. Upon acceptance to Brooklyn College, I was excited to learn that my new school had a campus newspaper, but I did not know what to expect from it – I did not know how to get involved, or whether I was even qualified to be involved.
When Quiara invited me to 118 Roosevelt Hall soon after the club fair, I expected an interview about my experience – not a conversation in which she thrust Vinny the Goat at me and casually informed me she had already looked me up. After writing my first story, I didn’t expect to stay in the office late into the night, chatting with Ryan and the rest of the staff. I didn’t expect that, from that point on, every time I came into the office I would be greeted boisterously by name. I didn’t expect to feel at home.
I transferred from a school in which I had almost no social life, which was partly my fault and partly the fault of circumstances. At Brooklyn College, I was looking forward to a blank slate and hoping to make friends within my field, but I didn’t expect to make them so quickly.
And to my surprise, the friends I made continued to reach out to me when school moved online. At the risk of sounding self-pitying, I rather expected to be forgotten. I was, after all, the new kid, and there was so much more for them to hold onto from the school than me. I expected to cling to the bare threads of the experience I had begun until time snapped the chords. But, to my surprise, my friends strengthened the chords across time and distance.
I’m not going to lie – I am pretty pissed off that the experience I began at Brooklyn College, which was so much better than I expected, would be so suddenly cut off. But there’s no use in complaining.
Since school moved online, my experience at the Vanguard has changed, but it hasn’t slowed down. The paper has run persistently, and I’ve chased down some great stories, even though that no longer meant literally running across campus to make it to that meeting or that professor’s office. The Vanguard and its staff have challenged me, backed me up, and pushed me forward, and, in the last year, I have grown more as a journalist than I expected.
But it is obvious the Vanguard has quite exceeded my expectations since the beginning.
To Ryan, Cami, Quiara, Moises, and the rest of the staff – thank you.