Dearest Mount family,
The cliché that time flies as our skin wrinkles and as the cartilage between our bones grows weak was a phrase I once laughed off. Young-minded me couldn’t wait to escape the dreaded Septembers, the long and tiring lectures and lessons that narrated my weekdays and punctuated my insanity. It would never end, I thought to myself then. I would never leave the cycle of schooling.
Now, I sit editing the last batch of articles my eyes will ever see before appearing on Mount Messenger’s white-faced façade and those words return, particularly in my mother’s voice: “Don’t rush life, Joey. You’ll be old before you know it.”
She was right. They were all right, everyone who’s spoken the cliché. Time moves too quickly for us humans. I walked onto this campus at freshman orientation, blinked for a moment, and opened them only to anticipate walking across the Commencement stage in less than two weeks.
I embarked on this collegiate journey as a wee little freshman, but nothing sparked until my involvement with Mount Messenger. Before, I hadn’t shown much interest in the college. I was the stereotypical commuter; I did nothing but complain about parking, condemn my unending trek to campus—though it is only a 20-minute drive—and leave school as soon as my classes ended. I was senselessly programmed to follow in the footsteps of the celebrated commuters who came before me. I had no reason to remain on campus—no ties to hold me down, no chains to suppress me.
And then one afternoon, the monotony ended as abruptly as it began. My sophomore self mindlessly roamed into the Curtain Memorial Library, detoxing from the exhausting three hours of lectures I had just sat through. In an ever-so-brusque fashion that has since become synonymous with her personality, my friend Erin-Therese Vecchi ripped me from my daze and transplanted me onto the cushioned seat just beyond the library’s entrance. “I have an idea!” she shouted, her aquamarine eyes bulging from her milky complexion. “Let’s start a newspaper!” I sat in disbelief for a moment. I wanted to sleep, not to hear the kooky ideas of a crazed writer. Her antics were a bit overwhelming for that irksome evening, but her plea had hooked me and her talent for writing was nothing to overlook, so I listened. “Us writers barely have any outlets on campus. Let’s make one! We can unite the campus. Celebrate the arts and get writing experience while doing it; it would be great!”
Though our ambitions were a bit high, we set forth to create this magical dreamland known as a student newspaper. Through four months of countless meetings, vigorous editor applications, and a rallied support from the student body, Mount Messenger had risen, and the two of us were named its co-managing editors. No longer was I simply a programmed commuter; I had a place. I was then a valuable piece to the Mount’s puzzle.
I’ve learned a lot since that day—my naiveté has dimmed and my understanding of life has grown—and I have Mount Messenger to thank for pushing me out the monotony, for leading me toward success, and for strengthening my bonds with this campus.
I am ecstatic to admit, years after its inception, that this paper has earned its rank. 500 articles later, it has perched itself comfortably on the hills of the Hudson. Its fingertips have brushed along this campus and it has nestled beside the river for a permanent stay.
Never did I think that kooky idea could come to fruition, and never did I realize these years would culminate with such relentless vigor. I’m just noticing how they’ve slipped through the cracks of time, that we’ll never get them back.
A week from Saturday, I’ll watch as my dearest friends and colleagues walk across the Commencement stage dripping in their black gowns, grinning teeth, and swollen eyes. I’ll think of their legacies. Their laughs and their smiles. Their voices and their talents. Their intellects and their achievements. And, when the time comes, I’ll saunter across the stage and pat myself on the back in Father Mackin’s coveted tradition. I’ll think of all these past years and the people who made them happen. I’ll grab my diploma and throw my cap in the air as I smile at the memories, laugh at the mistakes, and marinate in the nostalgia.
To each and every person who has made this possible. For Erin and her outrageous request. For Jill Torre who has rightfully filled Erin’s shoes since she graduated. For our beloved president, Katrina Avila. For all of our advisors. For each editor and officer. For each writer and reporter. And for the Mount community for its readership and acceptance. You’ve all taught me the gravity of time and you’ve ingrained those timelessly cliché words in my heart, and for that I am forever thankful.
Goodbye Mount Messenger, goodbye Mount Saint Mary College, and goodbye friends. What a joyous ride this has been.
Painful though the parting be, I bow to you as I see you off to the distant clouds.