I can’t believe it’s almost here… graduation day.
There are so many times that I sit and reflect on everything that’s happened, everything that has gotten me to this point in my life. There were times where I was struggling so much and so stressed that I never thought I’d reach the finish line and get my degree.
I chose Gannon because in comparison to other schools, it had such a variety of majors to get a degree in if I ever changed my mind.
I started out as a foreign language major but switched after my first year. I ended up in journalism communication after my adviser asked me my interests. I said that I loved listening to music, especially on the radio.
After changing my major, my new adviser was Frank Garland. The first day I met him, he asked me if I was a writer or would ever consider writing for The Gannon Knight.
I was honest and told him that the most writing I ever do is writing papers for academic purposes. I don’t like to write if I don’t have to. I don’t write for fun.
He seemed sad, but he never ceased to persistently remind me over the next four years that I could always start writing for the paper.
Then I stared taking his classes, as part of my major, and after the first assignment he told me that I write so well. It shocked him that I said I didn’t like writing. It also shocked me that someone actually thought I could write well.
The first story of mine was published on Oct. 25, 2017, and was only online. It was an assignment where my class visited the Erie Sports Commission. I can’t remember how many times I stared at the website watching the views go up as I sat in utter disbelief that something I wrote was published.
I didn’t end up writing again until the next semester. My first story published in print also landed on the front page because it was a news story. I wrote how the theology department had undergone some changes. Even then, somehow, I knew that it was only the beginning of what is now a collection of written work.
Including my stories for this final issue of the paper, I have written a total of 26 stories, not including my columns I’ve written for every issue as an editor.
Just a few weeks ago, I also won awards for two of my stories at the 42nd annual Gannon Writing Awards Program. I won first place in the news category for “Gannon removes name of former bishop” and third place in the same category for “Gannon unveils cyber programs, I-HACK Center.”
Not only have I been published, but now I can say I’ve won awards too.
I don’t think any of this would’ve happened if I hadn’t changed my major.