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I Don’t Have to Go Home, but Can I Stay Here?

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In October of 2014, I called my mom, on the verge of tears, and told her I wanted to come home. I went in the stairwell of the third floor of Bixler Hall so my roommates and entire hallway didn’t have to hear me. It was my first semester at the University of New Haven. I had no friends, no exciting new opportunities, and no idea what to do. There was no bell schedule, and no bus to go home.

When I called, I had already looked at schools I could transfer to back home. I was a music industry major and had just gotten welcomed in to this arena where legends and stars live. I was an 18-year-old band kid from Long Island.

When I went to my first involvement fair a couple months earlier, I don’t know what possessed me to walk up to the table of the campus newspaper. I didn’t have one in high school. I never reported on anything and barely even read the news. But this new void I had being away and on my own just wanted to be filled by talking about music.

So that’s what I did. And I never regretted it. In fact, a year later, I enjoyed it so much that I stepped up to lead the whole music section. And two months after that, I switched my major to journalism after opening my eyes to this new world that I had just entered. And six months after that, I said I wanted to run the school newspaper, and I did.

Now it’s time for me to leave what I have poured my life into for the past two years. Last week, I was interviewed by the Associated Press for the #SaveStudentNewsrooms campaign and why it meant so much to me. It really felt like my life had gone full circle, and a dream came true, just as another was ending.

I want to thank Susan Campbell, my advisor, professor, mentor, and friend. Since the day I walked into her office and asked her to help the Charger Bulletin, she has made me a better writer, student, and person. Thank you to Elissa Sanci, former editor of the Charger Bulletin, who encouraged a motivated sophomore with no experience to go out for a job he wasn’t qualified for. Thank you to Sam Reposa, who jumped into this journey with me and made the Charger Bulletin a better place. Thank you to Karina Krul, for stepping up when she didn’t have to and giving the last breaths of her passion to this organization. Thank you to my editors for giving your all to this organization and helping to make it better. Thank you to GregO, who is one of the hardest working people at this university, but always makes time for me and other students. Thank you to Tom Garrett, Wayne Edwards, Paul Falcone, and Bruce Barber for your constant support and hours of free education. Thank you to former Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr., for giving a young group of journalists the best week of their short careers. Thank you to my family and girlfriend Kristianna, for being interested in news that had nothing to do with you. Finally, thank you to the Charger Bulletin, for helping me find my purpose in life, and to know what it feels like to know what you want.

I don’t know how that phone call ended, and maybe it doesn’t matter. They say on your death bed, you’ll never wish you spent more time at the office. But I will. It’s got to be a lot better than a death bed.

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I Don’t Have to Go Home, but Can I Stay Here?