Reflecting on these past four years at Framingham State, I’ve really been able to grow as a person.
From widening old passions to developing entirely new ones, meeting lifelong friends and faculty who’ve inspired me all along the way, and just being able to break out of my shell – I’m thankful for the experience and proud to be graduating this May.
When I walked up State Street for the first time in 2016, I was undeclared. But by sophomore year I had found my major in political science. I’ll always appreciate our department’s openness to all views, helping me understand and respect perspectives that differed from my own.
During one of Dave Smaile’s class discussions on journalism, I also discovered the greatest opportunity I’ve had at FSU. I was inspired to go outside my major and take Liz Banks’ Introduction to Journalism class my junior year. And she introduced me to The Gatepost.
Joining our University’s newspaper has been an incredible experience, not only for helping me hone my skills, but for the friendships I’ve been able to make with all our dedicated staff. Each has inspired me throughout my two years on The Gatepost.
Nadira, for encouraging me to take on an assistant news editor position during the fall of my senior year. And again, for encouraging me to be a full news editor in the spring.
Leighah, for staying up till 6:00 a.m. with me to help co-write our coverage of the Board of Trustees meeting in September. We both earned our news wings after that one.
Ashley and Cara, for keeping us all together after COVID-19 separated us from campus. When our work could no longer be brought to print, they made sure the press would not stop for the pandemic.
Our advisors Desmond and Liz, for staying up until the late hours of every Thursday night to help us make sure our paper is the best it can be.
And everyone on our team who has dedicated so much of their time to ensure The Gatepost continues to publish informative and thought-provoking articles for students and faculty alike.
Finally, I’d like to thank my parents. I never wanted to go to college, originally. It was only through their encouragement and support that I sent in my application and was accepted by FSU.
Without them, I would have never had any of the wonderful experiences I’ve described in this letter.
Transitioning to college life was one of the hardest things I’ve done, but my love for FSU has motivated me to push through all the hard times.
First, thank you to my parents for first giving me life, and making sure every day that it is a great one. I can’t put into words how grateful I am to you both, I love you always.
Thank you to my brother Chris for helping me move into my dorm every year. You always have my back, and I am so grateful for you.
To Rylee, Alyssa, and Allie – living with you all has made my senior year the absolute best it could be (even when the parking lot floods).
To the Fashion Design and Retailing Department – I could go on for pages how happy I am that I decided to be a part of this community. Thank you for your ongoing support.
To Fashion Club (specifically Kevin, Kara, John, and Sam), I don’t think I have worked so hard on anything than the Fashion Show. Thank you for making me laugh no matter what hurdles we had to jump for club.
To the Gatepost staff – I wish I joined this organization sooner. I love laughing with you every Thursday. Thank you all, including Desmond and Liz, for encouraging me to keep writing.
To Lizzy and Jared – thanks for adopting me. There are no two people who make me laugh like you do. I promise I’ll find a way to annoy you post-grad.
To New Student and Family Programs – thank you for helping me live up to my motto of “be who you needed when you were younger.” I can’t imagine what my college experience would have been without you all. To Ben Trapanick, thank you for being such a great mentor to us mentors – I’ll take your advice with me well beyond my life at FSU.
To my fellow S.E.A.L.S. – I didn’t realize how much I needed this group until I joined it. Our meetings have been a highlight of my week. I will miss hearing everyone’s rose and thorn. To Pam Lehmberg – I can’t thank you enough for giving us a safe space and always supplying us with validation and kind words.
To the class of 2020 – I am heartbroken that our senior year got cut short, but the connections I have made at Framingham State have made every second on campus worth all the ups and downs.
My last four years at FSU has had its perks.
The first two I got to spend with my sister Lauren, who has been my best friend since I was born. She is the reason I had the easiest adjustment to college life and I cannot thank her enough for being a role model for me. My other sister, Christina, is the smartest person I know and played a big part in my academic success and was always there to hang out when I’d come home.
My mom is a nurse at Mass General, so it’s safe to say she’s my hero. She always made sure I was on track for everything and without her, I would not be graduating with a GPA above 3.0. My dad is the exact reason why I have the drive to succeed. He never got the privileges I did and worked tirelessly to get where he is now. So I look up to him greatly and pushed myself to be the best I can be through college and in my writing career and I hope to become half the man he is.
I met my girlfriend at FSU, Alyssa Cafarelli, and she has made me a better person. I was great to begin with – haha – she just wrapped it up in a bow. She and her family are the top reason I am succeeding in writing sports stories on athletes and coaches for my website and will play a big role in my career. I love AZ and the Cafarelli’s!
I want to thank Christopher Bowen. It’s hard to explain face-to-face what he did for me, so it’s easier to do so here. Before I met and took a class instructed by Professor Bowen, I was just coasting through college with no destination. Now, he’ll tell you he just came around at the time that I found my drive to succeed, but he’s the one who sparked it. The hands-on class he delivered taught me how much fun it is to pour hours into your own work and see your final product come out. No matter how long something takes, nothing beats the moment when it’s done, and Christopher Bowen helped teach me that. Make sure to take Film Production with Professor Bowen!
And lastly, I want to thank all the athletes and coaches at FSU who gave me the chance to write stories on them – it was a blast! And most of all out of that group, I want to thank volleyball coach Richard Casali. I didn’t meet him until the end of my time at FSU, but he told me I’m gonna make it big, and while it may have been a joke because he’s quite sarcastic, I can say that either way, I want to make it big and tell coach, “I did it.”
That’s all, thank you everyone for giving this kid from Quincy the chance to be himself and write about sports.
Here’s to endless nights in The Gatepost office, more procrastination on academic assignments than I’d like to admit, treacherous journeys up Larned Hill, iced coffees from Red Barn, and chicken quesadillas from The Grille.
But most importantly, here’s to the ones who have always been there and the friends gained along the way – none of this would be possible without them.
To Bailey Morrison: I did not know the true meaning of friendship until I met you. Breakfast tastes better when you’re by my side.
To Lauren Paolini: My last semester would not have been the same without you. Our late nights at Georgetown held me down.
To Jared Graf: You are the only man who will ever have my heart. Thank you for choosing to sit next to me that unforgettable day in British Literature.
To Desmond McCarthy: Your dedication to your students and friends (and birds and squirrels) is truly unmatched. Your guidance means more to me than you could ever know – thank you.
To Liz Banks: It was your passion in Introduction to Journalism that sparked my interest in the field. It’s been an honor to work with you.
To The Gatepost: OK, maybe I came for the pizza, but I stayed for the creative, loving and eccentric individuals who make up such an incredible staff. (Note my lack of use of the Oxford comma.) Thank you for the remarkable experience to share my thoughts.
To Donny, Melissa, Matt, Lindsay, and Christina: I would not be me, if it weren’t for your love and acceptance. Thank you all – for everything you’ve done for me.
To my mother: Thank you for being my biggest supporter. Although you’ve left us, you’ve never left me wondering if you’d be proud of the person I’m becoming, and for that, I am forever grateful. I love you.
Everyone always told me college would be the best four years of my life, and man – they weren’t kidding. FSU, our time together has been nothing short of extraordinary.
To absolutely everyone in Communication Arts: This program taught me so much and introduced me to some of the most creative and inspiring people I have ever met. I know you will all achieve amazing things.
To Desmond McCarthy: You mentored me and took me under your wing. You introduced me to an amazing community at The Gatepost. Thank you for always advocating for me and believing in my success. I know I will always have a friend in you.
To The Gatepost: Though our time together was short, I will always look back and be thankful I worked with such a talented group of individuals during my senior year. Thanks for giving me a voice.
To my parents: Your unwavering belief in my success leaves me speechless. I am so lucky to have such a support system. Thank you for making me better and supporting me through it all.
To Bryan, Missy, and my Miami Squad: Your moral support even when I was unbearably stressed will never be forgotten. Thanks for being the greatest.
And finally to Mackenzie and Tom: the best Editorial Workshop colleagues I could ask for!