When I first started my time at the Cigar, nothing could have prepared me for how much of an impact this organization would have on my life.
Coming into the school as a scared freshman and no idea how to write in a journalistic style, the idea of writing for the student newspaper scared the living daylights out of me.
Interestingly enough, my time with the Cigar started as an Ad Representative, which is a position that no longer exists anymore.
I would spend my time in the office writing emails to people to place ads in the newspaper, do my homework and get to know some pretty cool people.
Nicole Wagner, who was one of the News Editors at the time, convinced me to come to a pitch meeting to start writing.
With my heart set on starting after spring break my freshman year, plans quickly changed because of the pandemic.
Online meetings weren’t really my style, but I convinced myself to start being more active in the Cigar Fall of 2021 when we were able to meet in person.
I almost didn’t go to that first meeting my junior year because I was terrified people would think I was a ‘fake,’ (whatever that means.)
But I didn’t let that imposter syndrome get the best of me and I thank myself every day for doing that.
I took a story about the women’s center reopening that week and it got on the front page. That was proof to myself that the doubts about my ability to write were in my head.
Throughout that semester, I got to know some of my best friends now: My roommate and other half, Liz Fusco (hey liz, it’s liz, actually it’s maddie) and the ever so lovely, Erin Brown.
When I think of all the people who have impacted my life in the Cigar, the list could go on and on. Chances are, if we spent Wednesday nights in the basement of the Memorial Union together, we have a bond that can’t be broken.
But I want to give a special thanks to my fellow editors that came before me, worked with me over these past few years and the editors who will come after me.
I also want to thank all my photographers who I have gotten the pleasure to work with over the years. A special shoutout to Greg Clark and Melissa Marchese who taught me everything I know. A huge thank you to Eddie Melfi and Connor Zisk, I quite literally couldn’t have done it without you this year.
I couldn’t go without acknowledging my former roommate, our last Business Manager and my first friend at this school, Jenny Kang. If you got the pleasure to work with Jenny, you know her infectious laugh and bubbly personality.
And of course our Editor in Chief and Managing Editor, Juliana Lepore and Ronan Himelrick.
Working with your best friends is both fun and challenging, but I will always remember the Wednesday night shenanigans, Ronan’s infamous dad puns even if they’re an accident (is this b-roll?) and seeing Juliana dance in her car at the light behind me and Liz the night she got elected as EIC.
If I can’t sell the Cigar alone by the experience and improvement you get as a writer or photographer, then I can try to convince you through the possibility of meeting your best friends.
My parting piece of advice to anyone, is that it’s never too late to try something new, and if your brain is telling yourself you’re not good enough, then you’re never going to grow.
With that, good morning, good afternoon and goodnight, please don’t send me contributed photos anymore, that’s Aidans job to worry about now.