During my four years here at Rider, I’ve written more papers, consumed more energy drinks and been distracted more times than I can count. But I’ve also learned more lessons, gained more experience and made more memories than I ever thought I would.
Of course, I came to Rider to get a strong education and to walk away with a prestigious degree that will hopefully land me a teaching job immediately after graduation.
But I also came to Rider for another reason, one that was probably just as important to other students: to get away from my (mostly) crazy family. Even though Rider is just an hour away from my hometown, I am still able to be on my own while I’m here and that sense of independence is something that I value. Being on my own while at school is something that most of my friends cannot experience, and I’m thankful that I have been able to.
Like my former coworkers at The Rider News, I am a journalism major. But unlike most of them, my first major is elementary education, and I’ve been lucky enough to experience both worlds, even though they’re not at all related.
I was the Opinion Editor for The Rider News for two and a half years. I started at the end of my freshman year and continued through last semester. Even though my Wednesday and Thursday nights were always occupied and I spent the majority of my time yelling at my computer and saying unintelligent things, I wouldn’t trade my time in the office for anything. The crazy jokes and the offensive wall quotes made the long hours and endless frustrations bearable. Although I didn’t always — or ever — show it, working at the newspaper meant a lot to me and I will definitely miss it more once I graduate than I do now.
Bringing me to my next point, this semester I was student teaching, and since I wanted to stay sane, I decided I couldn’t work in a school and be the Opinion Editor at the same time. So I had to walk away from the newspaper.
As strange as it was to not go to the office, I absolutely loved being able to be in a classroom this semester. All of the education classes I’ve had taught me a lot, but I knew that I wouldn’t really learn until I could put my knowledge to the test and face everyday teacher situations.
This past semester put me to work more than the other seven semesters have combined. Getting up at 6 a.m. every day and not leaving school until 4 p.m., at the earliest, sounds extremely draining, and it was. After the first day at my school, I came home and passed out on the couch because of how tired I was. I wasn’t used to the hours, being on my feet and interacting with so many people at once. But I did know one thing — I absolutely couldn’t wait to go back the next day.
Rider has effectively prepared me for two separate careers. Looking back at all of the work I’ve done and the progress I’ve made since coming here as a quiet freshman, I know that I will graduate feeling confident and ready to take on the world.
I never thought that four years would go by so quickly, but May 11 will be here before I know it. But we can’t stay in college forever, so it’s time to finally get out into the real world and get started on what we’ve been preparing for — life.
Outgoing Opinion Editor