A Look Back at the End of an Incredible Journey
Published: Sunday, November 18, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
It was just about this time three years ago when it all began. I came home from school one day, and my mom told me Christmas had come early, and that I should go look under our Christmas tree. Under the tree, there it was. A big envelope from Boston College. The rest is history.
I had spent months poring over the BC catalogs that came in the mail, dreaming of one day being a student in one of these picturesque scenes. Everything I had been dreaming of was suddenly being actualized. I imagined studying outside on a bench, hanging out in the library, walking around campus, cheering at a hockey game—inserting myself into each setting the catalog had to offer. But what I could never have imagined is how, almost two and a half years into this experience, it still feels so surreal. Sometimes when I am walking around campus, I am amazed that I am really here.
Every fall, I am amazed at just how beautiful campus is, how great my teachers have been so far, the piles of snow, the friends I’ve made, and especially my time on The Heights.
The other day, I headed into the small, dimly light, filthy dirty, Heights office and took my seat at my desk. Upon first look, this place isn’t anything to write home about it. I share my own small desk with the Metro section, and it is covered in layers of rejected pages, stacks of dredged coffee cups, and other bits of trash. Due to the mess, it can be hard to find a pen. So I pried open the drawer of the desk, which clearly hadn’t been opened in months, to find one. There it was. I found the first issue that I was the head Features editor for. I flipped quickly to the Features section, and remembered it all too clearly.
That first night was overwhelming. I was laughably unprepared for the whole process that would ensue that evening, as I pathetically tried to navigate InDesign and make decisions about layout and cover graphics with little experience. It all came rushing back to me—the later struggles with standing up for myself and my section, dealing with mistakes that were made, things that were said, and tensions that ran high at times. But these are all part of the deal I came to learn.
For every minute that my time on The Heights was difficult, frustrating, or time-consuming, there were a million more I’d never trade for the world. When I was having a bad day or an issue, there was no place I’d rather be than with my friends in that dingy little office, working through it, talking over the hum of conversation, the ridiculous clashing of country music and rap, the screams of frustration at the printer, and a near constant echoing of laughter from someone.
As I flipped further into my section, I saw my first editor’s column. Sitting there, taunting me. The person who wrote that was new, optimistic, and brimming with ideas. She had no idea what this experience would be like, and no thoughts to the very real fact that it would someday be over. And though I’d desperately like to trade places with her, I know I can’t go back there. The past year has changed so much about me, things that I could never have dreamed of. I feel stronger and more confident than the person who sat at the desk a year ago.
As I look back, I am so thankful for Features. It allowed me to explore and discuss some of the issues on this campus that are most important to students. I’m still so in awe of the fact that I am here, actually here, to the point that writing about these experiences feels so necessary and natural. I want to preserve every moment, every issue, and every triumph of the student body during my four precious years here, and writing for this newspaper has allowed me to do that. I hope that we have managed to encapsulate a little taste of what BC is like at this moment in time, because I know how memorable it’s been, for me at least. I’m grateful for each day here, and each day that I was given the opportunity to write about the people and places I love the most.
Hopefully, looking back on these issues when I am abroad and after I graduate will allow me to relive some of these magical days, because they have been the best in my life. Everyone always tells me how fast these years will go, and they certainly aren’t exaggerating. Sometimes, just looking back at all we have accomplished, all we’ve overcome, all the nights spent in a newspaper office with 38 of the greatest people you will ever meet, is enough to remind you just how lucky you are to be here, and how much you’ll miss an organization that has come to be your family.