Class of 2018 Senior Letters

The first time I read an issue of The Gatepost, I was on an MWRTA bus getting as close to home as possible because I hated living at FSU. During my first semester here (the only one I “lived” on campus. I spent most of my time on the phone, begging my parents or boyfriend to come pick me up.

My second semester, much like the first, I spent little time here. I commuted and committed little of myself to my classes, ultimately resulting in poor grades and the decision not to return for my sophomore year.

After working full time for a semester, I decided to return and took three classes in subjects that I hadn’t explored during my time as a nutrition student. One of those classes was Sarah Cole’s Oral Interpretation of Literature class, where I realized that school didn’t have to be a chore – and that I could find a major with classes that I actually enjoyed.

After that class, I changed my major to communication arts, and I’ve never looked back.

The following semester, I quit my day job and made the decision to be committed to my studies. Shortly after, I joined The Gatepost and found myself surrounded by engaged, intelligent and hard-working students.

So, thank you:

To my parents and Will for being there during every step of my journey. For answering every phone call and accepting every person that I’ve been over the last four years. Without your unconditional support I wouldn’t have taken the chances that have led me to the experiences that have changed me for the better.

To everyone at The Gatepost for doing it all every day. You have all inspired me to be the best version of myself by being the best versions of yourselves.

To the communication arts department for giving me the classes and professors I needed to realize my passion.

To FSU’s administrators for answering every email (no matter how trivial or how late) and being some of the most accessible, resilient and transparent people at FSU.

To my friends and peers on this campus, for representing yourselves during discussions when your voices mattered the most. Without your openness and acceptance, I wouldn’t have been exposed to the different lifestyles and experiences that each of you have. Talking with you and listening to what you have to say has educated me more than any class.

During my college career, I’ve learned a lot about myself, and that was exactly the education I needed when I came to FSU as a freshman.

Shanleigh Reardon

Editorial Staff


I started my college career at FSU scared and unsure of what I wanted to do. I came in as a first-year student undeclared. And deciding what I wanted to major in was hard, especially being a first-generation student and not having many people in my life to help guide me in that decision-making process. But thanks to several kind people, I was able to make a decision that made sense for me. I declared a marketing major with an English minor at the end of my sophomore year.

Adjusting to college life wasn’t easy for me, especially as a commuter. But things changed once I started getting involved in clubs on campus. I joined The Gatepost and The Onyx at the end of my sophomore year. Through the Gatepost, I was able to make friends and find my voice, and for that I will always be grateful to the organization and its members.

I would like to thank my parents who were incredibly brave to leave their family and friends in Brazil to immigrate to a country where they didn’t speak the language in order to provide a better life for my sister and me.

To Priscilla: thank you for looking out for my best interests and for always being willing to fight battles on my behalf.

To Desmond: thank you for the unwavering support you have given me, even though I was not a student in your department. I wouldn’t be where I am today without your help and wise advice. It’s a true privilege to have you as a friend.

To Professor Liz Banks: thank you for all the help and support you have given me in the last two years. You are a true role model and I’m very fortunate that I took your Intro to Journalism class.

To my friends, thank you for sticking by me through all the headaches and heartbreaks. Thank you for all the great memories we have made together. You all have showed me true kindness and love during my four years at FSU.

Thank you to all the faculty, staff, administrators and students who made themselves available to talk to me for the numerous articles I’ve written during my two years at The Gatepost.

Finally, thank you to Framingham State! I’m leaving with not only a degree but a “fRAMily.”

Kayllan Olicio
Associate Editor



I’ll admit FSU was not my first choice. I had a good GPA and thought a private college would be the best fit. Then, I discovered I wasn’t smart enough for a private school, and with time running out, I chose FSU because it was the only one to give me a scholarship and it was the closest to home.

I thought I was going to transfer, but for some reason, I ended up spending all four years here.

I was always excited to return after summer to see all my friends and professors for another round of crazy adventures only a college student would experience.

I want to thank my advisor Desmond McCarthy, for encouraging me for four years and persistently telling me to join The Gatepost.

A big thank you to the entire staff at The Gatepost for accepting me and teaching me about what it means to be a part of something bigger than myself.

I also want to thank Jen Hyde from the study-abroad office for helping me achieve my dream of studying abroad my junior year and Maynooth University in Ireland for being my second home and teaching me what it means to be independent.

My parents, Paula and Philip and older sisters, Emily and Sarah, for their unconditional love and support throughout all my decisions despite how crazy they might have sounded.

My friends, Bridget, Emma, Emily, Meg, Kayla and so many others who have supplied my college experience with laughs and memories I will hold onto forever. I cannot wait to make more with you.

Finally, Thank you to the University! You have become my second family and I will miss you dearly. Go Rams!

Allison Wharton
Staff Writer


I can still remember the first time I visited FSU. Immediately, I was taken in by how friendly my tour guide was, and I was amazed at how connected the campus community felt. Everyone we talked to on the tour spoke about how they were part of a family – or, as I would come to know over my past four years, “fRAMily” – whenever they were on campus. After that tour, I knew I wanted to attend FSU, so I only applied here during my college search, and the rest is history.

There is no shortage of ways to get involved here, and I really tried to get into as much as I could. I joined the ResLife team as an RA, went to Anime Club meetings for a while, joined the Journal of Critical Thinking, went on Alternative Spring Break and even became a senator for the Student Government Association. Thank you to everyone who has supported me in all of these roles: Dr. Trousdale, Professor Coyne, Marcie Dineen, David Case, my JoCT staff, ASB ’17 people and all of SGA.

To Professor Bowen, for helping my love for editing and filmmaking flourish. I will cherish all of my projects from your classes.

To Dr. Springer, for pushing me to join JoCT and for challenging me when I needed it the most. The insight I gained in your classes will stay with me forever.

To my parents and sister for always being there when I needed it, no matter what. I could not have done this without you.

To Samantha and Andrew, who have been with me for the past four years. We’ve all transformed so much since our days in Larned and Towers.

To every single one of my friends I’ve made along the way, no matter where you are now. I’m so happy we got a chance to meet each other.

Finally, thank you, FSU, for giving me this opportunity to learn and grow. I will forever treasure my memories from these past four years.

Valerie Paradise
Class of 2018


Dear Framingham,

I’m leaving you. And I don’t know how to feel. You’ve housed me and fed me for four years and it is crazy to think that one day I will wake up and not have a gigantic key on my ring, the Ram Tram won’t make me late, and that it won’t matter if I’ve lost my ID (which I’ve had all four years). I wonder if I will look back on you and smile … but I cannot be sure. For I am one of the students that put the Black in Black and Gold and I cannot ignore what has happened to us. For all good things you’ve given us, there have been bad things, but somehow, I feel my heart will forgive you. Because for every door that held a slur on the outside held a friend on the inside, and for every time admin didn’t support us … WE supported us. And you made that happen. You helped all these young minds who fight for truth and justice and how can I not thank you for that? But you also protected the other minds that brought oppression our way. For every event that made us feel we didn’t belong, there were events where we were home, and for those I cannot thank you enough. My gratitude stems from surrounding me with people I love and allowing my to become a me that I love, even when people wanted us to be sure that they hated us without even knowing us. And the scariest part is not knowing if new faces will come in to replace the supportive ones who left. All in all, you made me who I am, you’ve given me people who helped me along the way, and you showed me that the revolution WILL be televised. That’s how I know that Black and Gold never gets old, and that you may be one of the greatest things to happen to me. So I guess we’ll call it even.

Monét Johnson
Class of 2018


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