Samantha Safchinsky’s senior goodbye

When I entered The Whit office the first Monday of my first semester at college, I expected to learn and grow as a journalist. I expected to gain experience that would one day help start my career.

And I did. During my time at The Whit, as a staff writer, the features editor and the managing editor, I’ve written about anything from drug busts to “The Walking Dead.” The graphics editor and I won first place in Layout and Design from the New Jersey Press Foundation for our Superstorm Sandy centerspread. My time spent working at the paper helped me earn two internships.

The Whit also helped me grow as a person. I learned how to take criticism well, how to improve my writing and, as managing editor, I learned how to, well, manage a staff (and sometimes the editor-in-chief). This paper allowed me to develop into a person I’m proud to be. The list goes on and on regarding what this paper has helped me accomplish.

But one thing this paper did that I never expected it to do is allow me to meet some wonderful people. This staff is not just full of great journalists, but great friends.

To the seniors: Christian, over the last year I’ve gotten to know just how great of a person you are. You treated me as your equal when it came to any decisions about the paper. My respect for you is immense and I cannot wait until you’re a famous author and I can say I shared that tiny office with you in the Student Center way back when.

Jeremy, our involvement at the paper led to you being my roommate and one of my best friends. I’ve seen in the office and in our apartment just how much time and energy you devoted to this paper and I know that will continue in whichever path you choose.

Kate, I had the pleasure of working with you each week on centerspread for an entire year, and I couldn’t be happier about that. Your talent shines through in every graphic you make, whether it took an hour or five minutes.

Austin, I can always count on you to make me laugh, even when the fonts in your layout are wrong.

Lauren and Megan, reading every article over and over each week couldn’t have been easy, but you ladies did it, despite working and student-teaching. Also, you both love cats almost as much as me.

To next year’s staff: Kevin, I can always count on you whenever I need something, as both a friend and a staff member. You’ll make a great editor-in-chief.

Erica, I was your mentor. I’ve watched you grow at this paper and I know next year you’ll take over my position and make it your own.

Ethan, you are creative and driven – you got this.

Pete, quoting obscure movies aside, you are passionate about the arts and will keep improving the A&E section.

Laura, you’re an amazing writer and you’ll be an amazing editor.

Hags, you saw what it took to make the sports section great, and there’s no doubt you’ll make sure it gets even better, using the right fonts.

To everyone at The Whit – those who graduated last year, those who are graduating this year and those who are coming back – thank you. If I didn’t walk into the office that first Monday of my first semester at Rowan, I wouldn’t be where I am right now. As sad as I am to leave this part of my life behind, I can’t help but smile when I think of those crazy Wednesday nights that I spent improving myself as a journalist and as a person with the support of some of the most amazing people I have ever met.

For comments/questions about this story, email or tweet @thewhitonline.

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