By Michela Arlia
I found The Vanguard because of a spur of the moment email. I stumbled into 118 Roosevelt and was met with the most interesting (and dare I say intimidating) group of people I’ve ever met. I was placed in the arts beat by accident, where when late to a staff meeting my freshman year, that was the last slot. From that point, the rest was history.
The last three and a half years have not been easy for a lot of us. As a double major trying to beat the BC odds of being on the five-year graduation plan, and amidst a pandemic that made the itch to be back on campus burn ten times hotter, I want to begin by highlighting two people that best represent the departments I have called home, and made me academically blossom into the well-rounded graduate I am soon to become.
Laura Tesman, thank you for hearing me out every semester as I recounted my credits, and listening to all my nervous Nelly speeches about classes, as well as answering the many late night emails. If it wasn’t for you, I don’t think I would be able to complete two degrees. And a huge thank you to Professor Yana Kuchirko. Growing up, I always wished to be a big-girl scientist, and you have helped me make those dreams come true. By pushing me into projects headfirst and supplying me the toolkit to take on big ticket items like completing a thesis in just one semester, you have taught me to think even more critically and cautiously and I am very grateful to have you as a mentor.
Thank you to our advisor, Dr. MJ Robinson for allowing us full jurisdiction to tackle the good, the bad, and the ugly in our pieces. As I like to say, you treat The Vanguard as the eldest child, where amongst all other entities you watch over, you never had to worry about. You are the reason The Vanguard has been able to express journalism in its truest form, so thank you for believing in us.
To all The Vanguard’s section editors, staff writers, and everyone in between that I have had the absolute pleasure of working with, including Ryan Schwach, Quiara Vasquez, Jack Coleman, Owen Russell, Shea Stevenson, Anakin Jackson, Brie Underwood, Hifza Hameed, Emmad Kashmiri, Kaylin Guzman, Nidhi Mahadevan, Nitu Farhin, and core members of the Vangirlies, Serin Sarsour and Samia Afsar. Thanks for all the fruitful discussions in the office, and the many laughs in budget meetings. You are a huge puzzle piece in the success of The Vanguard, and I am so grateful to have worked with you all.
To Managing Editors past and future – John Schilling, I thank you for leaving all your jobs to me, first as Arts Editor, and now here. They were big shoes to fill, and I hope I fulfilled them well. And to Kate Dempsey, who will succeed me as Managing Editor in the fall. I am so happy to be leaving this position and paper in such good hands. You will do great things as you take the reigns, and I can’t wait to read everything you and Serin are up to in the fall.
To my Editor-in-Chief Gaby. As I write this, I am currently sending you “let it go” GIFs of Elsa while you obsess over your typos. Thank you for constantly having this amateur journalist’s back. I apologize for never remembering to stop capitalizing seasons, and for leaving the entire budget rows highlighted. Girl, you definitely got the journalism chops and you’re going to do great things. Break through that shyness as I’ve seen you do when our office door is closed, you deserve everything coming your way. Big thanks for also manifesting all those Dr. Arlia vibes, they really paid off. And always remember, can’t cry on a deadline.
To Ryan – I cannot thank you enough for always being there to lend an ear and shoulder on everything, including all the behind the scenes scoop, and for being so patient while looking over my shoulder virtually every Sunday night as I worked to get each issue out. Thanks for being my first editor in the beginning years at The Vanguard, supporting me in everything, and for always pushing me to keep going when I am too tired to myself. I’m so grateful to have you in my corner.
And last but never least, to my original support system. My parents, sister, Nonni, Zio, and Zia. I don’t know where I would be without any of you. Thank you for always asking for extra copies of the issues, and spending nights catching up on the seemingly never ending pieces I crank out every week. To my parents especially, I am so thankful for the lessons you’ve taught and for giving me all the tools to handle the many curveballs life has thrown my way thus far. You make it all look easy, and without you, I would never have the work ethic, spitfire, sarcasm, and drive I do today.
As I write to you now, in what will most likely be my last journalistic-centered piece I publish, I can’t help but sit in awe on how an initial drive to write has led me to meet some of the most amazing people in and out of the newsroom. If we’ve ever conversed in the last few months, you know I make it a point to interject my excitement to turn that tassel, but deep down, I’ve been dreading this for a while. The memories I’ve made, people I have connected with, and bones I’ve acquired while here at Brooklyn College will be dearly missed, but always cherished.
And to The BC Vanguard itself – thanks for coming back to life four years ago and treating me so well. From a rather inexperienced high school journalist to now, I thank you for the opportunities you’ve offered me, including one to serve as a leader that made an impact on many more people than I ever imagined. I have reached my personal goal of writing in every section for this paper, and I am proud to be an original member of the revamped Vanguard. From the bottom of my heart, thank you all. The next adventure now awaits.