The Signal has been a part of my life since the very beginning of freshman year. As time passed, it devoured more and more of my time every week.
This semester, I’ve probably spent an average of 14 hours in our office each Monday and Tuesday. Add that to the significant amount of time spent here on Sundays and Wednesdays, and I realize that an entire day of every week is spent in the dungeon, whose defining characteristics include no windows, a squishy couch, slow computers and days-old Italian food strewn about everywhere.
Working for The Signal is like smoking cigarettes: It’s an unhealthy habit, but you just can’t stop. My digestive system hates me once a week as I eat pizza and mozzarella sticks for dinner and then survive on cookies and coffee for the remaining 12 hours that I am awake.
Some weeks I’m in such a good mood as I cross out headlines and listen to “Centerfield” on the radio that I foolishly decide to go out to the diner at 7 a.m. when the newspaper is finally finished.
During other production nights, all I can think about is finishing up and going to sleep. Yet somehow, no matter how angry I would get at a writer for not getting any quotes or at an editor for making ridiculous spelling errors, I kept coming back for more.
Sometimes I wonder why I put myself through the insomnia each week for a stupid paper that many people say doesn’t matter; afer all, I’m not even a journalism major (physics is so much more exciting). Then I remember that I love journalism and everything that goes along with it: the thrill of getting the big scoop, the camaraderie among the staff, the feeling when you see your name in print.
Last spring, when the campus community went through some trying times, I essentially lived in the Signal office, constantly making calls and writing up stories to inform people of the objective facts. The stress level was at an all-time high, but the experience I gained and the lessons I learned will always stay with me in my future endeavors.
When I look back at my time here, I will always think of the people on staff. This is a group of hard-working, dedicated individuals who truly care about every word that goes into print. We have an eclectic mix of personalities, which leads to sooo many memories, sooo many laughs and, of course, sooo many ladies.
Some people who come down to the office to write for the first time are intimidated and think the Signal community is a clique that won’t welcome new members. My response is this: If you spent 20 hours a week with the same people, wouldn’t you become good friends with them?
However, I appeal to you to not let that scare you; a newspaper runs smoothest when there is a big staff, and we are always looking to add to our family. I am proud that this year we have welcomed a lot of new faces, many of whom became my good friends.
As I move on to life in the city next year (that’s New York for all you South Jersey folk), I know I am leaving The Signal in good hands with Lauren, Michelle and the rest of this talented staff. Lauren and I argue over pretty much everything and insult each other every five seconds or so, but I have no doubt in my mind that she will be a fantastic leader of this organization.
It’s been a fun ride, and I have some fantastic memories. (Is it sad that my favorite article I ever wrote was my Senior Week story in The Singal?) This is hard to leave behind, but I’m thankful for every moment I spent dedicated to this newspaper.