Senior Goodbye: Sam’s Farewell to The Oracle

Although some consider me a word-wizard, I’m finding it difficult to choose the correct ones for this. This marks my 84th and final piece with The Oracle since joining the staff 31 months ago. 

When I decided to apply for a position on the staff, I wasn’t prepared for the impact it would have on my life. I assumed it’d be similar to the newsroom in “Gilmore Girls.” At the time of my first production night, it was apparent that the vibes were a little bit off. Our captains at the time were steering a rapidly sinking ship, taking on a cargo of doe-eyed underclassmen with them. 

One fateful day, a band of copy editors gathered in the girl’s bathroom on the fourth floor of the SUB to discuss the issues at hand. We sighed a collective breath of relief knowing that everyone had the same feelings towards these “editors,” and a revolution was born… or so it seemed. 

Although on-campus clubs are meant to be enjoyable, the amount of personal issues dragged into the office has been truly mind-boggling. In a professional setting, your personal life is meant to be left at the door, and yet it seemed to be the polar opposite for this room: people saved their issues to air out during the time we were meant to be silently editing articles for legitimacy and legibility. Have you ever read the same sentence four times and yet it makes no sense because of background noise? Try doing that until two in the morning in a room with no air circulation, shoulder to shoulder with other editors. Not to mention, there’s no need to be in the office that long: the work can be completed in an hour if everyone just focuses.

Joining The Oracle has taught me many things, and I don’t just mean becoming a robot programmed in AP style formatting and having a new meaning to Vampire Weekend’s song, “Oxford Comma.”

I’ve had my integrity tested by the members of this club. I’ve hesitated to submit articles, knowing that they’d be read aloud in a mockery setting. I’ve heard countless remarks about people spending their free time dawdling about how I’m a terrible writer, and yet they don’t seem to ever have a byline. I’ve somehow worked my way into the brains of people I don’t even remember exist. It’s kind of flattering to have so many people worked up on your whereabouts while you’re quite literally sitting in your room painting and listening to Lana Del Rey on vinyl.

My experience hasn’t been as glamorous as most, but I’m even more grateful that’s the case. I’m entering fields of creativity that inhabit critique: being criticized on every small detail about myself before entering the real world has helped me toughen up and realize that those individuals have bigger problems going on if they’re repeatedly spewing remarks about little old me. 

The biggest achievement I have from joining this club is that I’ve held a paid writing job with an actual news publication for the past two years, which is something I wouldn’t have considered prior. I took my copy editing skills and applied them to a real setting, to which I’ve seen stunning results. I’ve won first-place awards from the New York Press Association and been offered insane opportunities that wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t begun writing publicly. I’m so lucky that a club provided me with the tools to obtain jobs with a real source of income for my adult life while remaining true to my creativity. I love networking, I love meeting new people and I adore retelling events in a digestible manner for a wide audience to consume. Writing isn’t something that everyone excels in, and yet I can’t find a moment when I’m not actively capturing a moment in words. Whether it’s poetry, song, fiction or even just a dabble in my journal, writing has proven to aid in a world where I can express myself through a new medium that’s come as second nature to me.

Although my chapter in this charismatic, beautiful, charming hippie oasis is coming to a close, I’m stoked to go out into the world and see how the real world functions, without the weight of massive egos. If you’re an underclassman, just remember that New Paltz is NOT the real world— this is a blip in the timeline of a wonderful life (if you didn’t peak in college) and there’s so much more to do and see and explore. But also, get a glimpse at that stunning mountain as much as you can, I know I’m savoring my glances. 

I can’t leave without shedding some light on individuals that made my experience enjoyable.

Lildawg/ Lillis: I’m so grateful to have met a girl who’s so in tune with herself and the world around her, and doesn’t take bullshit from anyone. I love how you stand up for what you believe in and truly care about those close to your heart. I loved hearing all about your Prague endeavors and keeping each other in the loop from miles and time zones apart, and this semester has been so lovely to have you back.

Fynn/Irish Princess: Our friendship is indescribable. You just understand exactly what I’m saying even when I don’t know it myself. You’re one of the strongest people I’ve ever met in my life, and I can’t believe how resilient you are amidst the turmoil. You’re so beautiful inside and out and I can’t wait to see the accomplishments you make in this final year of college. 

Kenny/ Cheerleading Queen: You’re one of the few people that can make me laugh my ass off without even trying. I’m so grateful that we’ve gotten closer over the last few months, and there’s nobody else I’d fangirl over the quality of a hot dog with. I’m gonna miss you dearly. 

And with that, I bid my goodbye. Farewell to my haters and farewell to my supporters— without you, I wouldn’t be as successful as I’ve been. Be sure to keep up with my Instagram stories, babes. 

Xoxo, Samantha Salerno.

Avatar photo
About Samantha Salerno 84 Articles
Samantha (Sam) Salerno is a third-year performing arts major who has a passion for writing. This is her third semester on The Oracle. She spent the majority of her summer working for the publication, Fire Island News. You can reach her by emailing