IMG_2449Brandon Lesko
Staff Writer

Since last week’s article already divulged my dark inner thoughts about my college experience, I have chosen to devote this piece, my final – final – farewell, to my experience with The Snapper.
When I transferred to this university from Penn State, I had made up my mind that I hated people, that college was nothing more than a massive waste of money, and that I would never find the same satisfaction in student organizations that I did in high school. A year and a half ago when I joined The Snapper, those notions were gradually, but ultimately, erased.
I had spent two whole semesters telling myself that I would one day join The Snapper, but internally I questioned my own worth as a writer and whether I would be wasting my and everyone else’s time by joining. Finally relenting to the pressure from my parents and my own subconscious telling me to grow a pair, I filled out an application and became a staff writer for the opinion section.
The first weeks of my association with the paper were shy and uncertain, but I knew immediately that I was in a place I loved to be; a place where people took their jobs seriously and managed to have a good deal of fun while doing it.
Slowly but surely I grew more and more comfortable with my colleagues, unleashing my own personal (some would say inappropriate) brand of humor upon the unsuspecting staff. I showed great interest in not only writing, but in helping design the weekly layout, and by the end of the semester I had been made assistant opinion editor. To many, this title means nothing, but to me, who had undergone a radical plummet in self confidence and self-worth since beginning college, it meant a great deal.
I would be lying to myself if I believed that everyone on the staff liked me immediately (I had the sneaking suspicion that I was secretly hated by half the staff, but then I am subject to paranoia), but I like to think that as I proved myself to be reliable, helpful, and at the very least, a source of entertainment, most people softened to me – even grew to like me.
As my time at The Snapper went on, I found myself assuming more responsibility; first copy editing, then associate opinion editor. I came to realize the importance of our school newspaper and the immense amount of effort required to produce a quality, weekly publication. But if we worked hard, we played just as hard, and the joking around, nights at Jack’s, and numerous conversations have meant more to me than all the experience I have gained in my time here.
I would like to thank our editor-in-chief, Michael Blackson, for getting me started at The Snapper, Sam Dutton, my opinion editor, for being so welcoming and helpful towards me for the past year and a half, Gene Ellis, our faculty advisor, for putting up with my mostly annoying outbursts during meetings, and last but not least, all the editors and writers at The Snapper with whom I have had the pleasure of sharing the better part of my college experience.
I’m not one for sentimentality, but if I could impress anything upon the students at this university, it would be the value of extracurricular activities (besides drinking). I could have easily graduated from this establishment with a solid education, but not much else, had I not joined The Snapper.
Writing for this publication provided me with opportunities to express my views (even if only five people read them), make meaningful friendships, and gain experience in my potential field of employment. But most importantly, it gave me a sense of self-worth, purpose, and importance. What more could you ask out of life than that?
I will greatly miss everyone at The Snapper. To rip off and alter Bob Dylan; goodbye’s too strong a word, so I’ll just say fare thee well.