I have never written a reflection before, maybe because I never really left any place that was significant to me or maybe because I was never that significant to the places that I left. But it’s amazing how one group of people can make you feel as if you are significant and “perfect” even when you feel like your imperfections are screaming at them.

I guess I can reflect on all of the things I learned while working for The Oracle such as cats are very interesting and don’t leave your Facebook open in the office, or I can reflect on how coffee can be your revival on late Wednesday nights/mornings or how becoming the “annoying journalist from The Oracle is sometimes very necessary to get an interview.

But I think I’d rather reflect on the people I met. I remember walking into my first story meeting hoping to get some hard-hitting story about something major on campus that was going to affect the entire student body. I remember thinking, “What if these people don’t like me? What if they are stuck-up journalists who think they are better than everybody else? What if they think my writing sucks?” I didn’t get the hard-hitting story I was looking for, but I didn’t get the stuck-up journalists who I expected either.

Then after just one semester, I felt as if I was an official part of The Oracle team.  As if I had been there for years, I already had a nickname (Prom Queen) and a theme song (“Clarissa Explains it All Remix”). I guess once you spend countless hours in the orange office, reading, copy editing, writing and re-reading with the same people every week; becoming semi-close friends is expected, but with The Oracle it’s like I joined a mini-family.

Each person seemed to take it on as their duty to teach me something new. Whether it was how to report on senate or how to understand sports, everyone shared their insight with me about what journalism was to them. I never expected that within such a short period of time I would gain so much from my co-workers. I have learned how to be a better writer, a better reporter and I learned about myself.

I think more than anything working for The Oracle has given me the opportunity to put my life in perspective. I got the chance to work for a real paper and write real news stories that were read campus-wide. I got compliments from different people about articles and a column I wrote was even mentioned on the campus radio. I don’t think any other paper could have given me as much confidence in my writing, and I don’t think any other people could have given me as much confidence in myself.

As I say goodbye to continue my education at St. Johns University, I will be sure to take all of the memories and laughs with me. Most of all, I will take all of the knowledge that I gained at The Oracle, and I am not just speaking about journalism stuff  -— but that there are really some amazing people around the world. Unfortunately for me, I will probably never meet another group as amazing as the Oraclers.