Reflection: Leaving New Paltz With No Regrets

“Mistakes, no regrets.” 

For some reason, these words really stuck with me through my four years of college. It was the motto for a group of upperclassmen on the 2015 New Paltz baseball team, and was yelled throughout “the baseball house” every Sunday morning after a night out. The Hawks finished 7-22 that year, but man did those guys know how to have a good time. 

College is supposed to be a time where young people learn lessons and go through ups and downs. As Michael Jordan and many greats have said, you have to fail over and over again to become a winner. How you handle that defeat determines if you are a champion or not. 

There’s the small little mistakes you make in college that aren’t that big a deal, like sleeping in late, missing a class or locking yourself out of your dorm room after showering. Then there’s bigger ones, like maybe forgetting about a test, and then way bigger ones that, well, you get the picture. 

Yeah, maybe you’ll have some regrets along the way, but should they really be regrets if you can learn from them? Sometimes you have to do what’s wrong to figure out what’s right. Sometimes making a mistake is the only way to figure out how to make a change. 

I cared too much about partying and having fun my freshman and sophomore year, and not enough about school and playing baseball. I was cut from the team, and was left really having to figure out what I was going to do. It was a mistake, but led me to getting my first job in New Paltz at Murphy’s as a bouncer. I’ve now worked my way up to a bartender position and was named Head of Security after working there for two and half years. 

I didn’t focus enough on extracurricular activities throughout my first semesters of college. My resume was as blank as could be, and the only thing I had to show were my achievements in high school. Mistake on my part, but I learned from it and took a chance by joining The Oracle my junior year. I was scared at first of the workload, but within weeks I was lucky enough to be named a Page Editor for the sports section. A mistake led to where I am now at the newspaper and with the athletic department, but will I regret it? Absolutely not. 

Sure, there’s plenty of more mistakes to mention, and maybe even mistakes that haven’t been figured out yet, but the thing is, everyone makes mistakes. We’re human, it’s what we do. But by keeping your head up, staying positive and keeping good people around you, you can achieve anything you set your mind to. 

My time at New Paltz may be over, but as I learned here, when one door closes another opens. When one opportunity fails, another may arise. For anyone not graduating this year, take advantage of your mistakes. You’ll learn more about yourself than you ever will in a classroom. 

Now, to the shout outs. 

Thank you Rachael Purtell for taking a chance and reaching out to me for a position on The Oracle. Everything I’ve achieved here for a career in sports has been because of you. Your work ethic and drive to be the very best in everything you do is inspiring. I can’t wait to see all that you achieve. 

To Matt Schenfeld, you’re the man. Thank you for making this job so easy and being consistent in everything you do. Even if you didn’t go to school for journalism, you should strongly consider writing throughout your future endeavors. You tell a great story, and I can’t wait to see what you accomplish in your life. 

To Jake and Maddy, I can’t wait to see what you guys do with the paper next year. I can’t think of two better people to lead this group. Thank you Maddy for always helping me on the desk with meltdowns, and thank you Jake for being a fantastic Managing Editor. You always know all the right things to say, Jake, and I hope you two will continue to be leaders wherever you go. 

To Shyana and Katie, I hope you guys enjoyed your time in the sports section this year as much as I did. I can’t wait to continue reading what you guys write for this paper. You are both very talented and have strong work ethics, keep it up and you will achieve great things! 

To the copy desk, thank you for dealing with me even when I’m a grouch sometimes. You guys make the job so much easier and I can’t thank you enough for your diligence and drive to produce the best paper possible. Nothing we achieve is done without you guys. 

To Rob Piersall, Mike Rosen and Matt Ferremi, thanks for laying the groundwork of how the sports section should be. You guys are all super talented and great people, and I can’t wait to see you guys achieve your dreams in this industry. I’m hoping one day soon I’ll open the New York Post and see one of you guys as a new beat writer for the Mets or Yankees.

To the house of 58 South Chestnut from 2016-2018, I love you guys. Thank you for always being there and driving me to be the best I can be. You may all be super successful already in your first year out of college, but I can’t wait to see where else you go in life. I’m proud to call you guys my best friends. 

To the athletes, man, it’s been fun to watch you compete. Two national championships and a lot more SUNYAC championships have made the job fun. Thanks for always cooperating with the interviews and giving us great content! 

Thank you, New Paltz. 

Mistakes, no regrets.