Curse my sudden but inevitable betrayal.
It’s finally here. I’m finally graduating. As thrilled as I am to take a much-needed break from academics, there’s one thing I’m so reluctant to say goodbye to as I prepare to leave New Paltz.
This shit. I only found The Oracle less than a year ago, but in so many ways, it feels like home. With my sincerest emotional volatility, I promise you, my new Oracle family, that my impending departure makes me want to do one thing and one thing only: crawl under the copy desk and cry…again.
But first, I get to reflect.
After an existential crisis of a spring semester and a perpetual party of a summer, I thought my last semester was going to be, for lack of a better word, happy. Hectic, but happy. I went into this semester, my first and only on The Oracle, with bright optimism. I hope this next part is obvious, but I’ll say it anyway: I fell in love with this paper and its beautiful executive board — who welcomed me with open arms — right away. Things were really looking up as I looked down at the copy desk those first few weeks.
Introspective confession time: early in the semester, my personal life took a confusing turn. After a period of sunshiny denial, I recognized a lot of my problems and stopped caring about certain things — school, for one. I’ve done mostly the minimum for my classes this semester, prioritizing it far behind my coursework of choice: distraction, sleep and some embarrassingly substantial self-pity. Only occasionally did I ask for help (here’s looking at you, Quimby). Needless to say, with restored positivity, I’ve begun to punch my setbacks in the face like the fierce fighting machine I am — but…c’mon. Could I really have started that process alone?
So surprisingly — but really, unsurprisingly — I never stopped caring about The Oracle. This paper was one of the few, wonderful reasons I got up in the morning. If I loved being stressed and challenged by my responsibilities before my personal difficulties, I really loved it after. If I loved all of these smart, funny, beautiful angel(a)s before, I really, really loved them after.
Let me be clear, though. Had I the perfect life, I’d still be crazy about this paper. I’ve loved this invigorating, intoxicating thing for everything it is. I’ve seen the value of ungraded writing: the caliber of your work is self-evident. I’ve established new friendships and strengthened old ones. During interviews, I’ve had some eye-opening conversations that I never would have had otherwise. I’ve live-tweeted New York Comic Con and met one of my musical heroes, Jens Lekman. I’ve had some killer dance parties involving nothing more than marching (yes, marching) around the copy desk.
Best of all, as a double major in English and Spanish, I’ve begun to thrive in a field I never thought I’d set foot in: journalism.
I want to give everyone in this inspiring group of people a thoughtful, personalized shout-out, but there’s somehow both too many, and not enough, memories to name. After all, I’ve only been a copy editor for a tidy twelve issues over four months. So I’ll address them all with a quote — from “The Muppet Movie,” of all things, because I still haven’t seen “Newsies.” (I know. I need to open the gates and seize the day.)
In his solo, “I’m Going to Go Back There Someday,” Gonzo sweetly sings, “There’s not a word yet/for old friends who’ve just met,” and I think maybe he’s right. It’s hard to describe that feeling you get when you meet someone, or a group of someones, and it feels like you’ve known them forever.
Psych! I know the word. It’s Oracle.
So thank you, Oracle, for proving to me in sixteen weeks something I’ve been forgetting for 22 years: I am, in fact, unsinkable. You all are. Have an amazing spring semester (and amazing lives, duh), and please don’t forget me, because I really can’t forget you.
Keep up the amazing work. I can’t wait to see what’s next.