by Marianne Caesar

I am sad to report that this is the last article I write as an undergraduate student at Millersville University. I have avoided writing it because I know that in doing so, I am forced to accept that I am leaving after a very long time spent at MU. I would be lying if I told you this was easy to write.
I have chronicled the last two years of my life through long nights spent working with some amazing people and an overwhelming amount of encouragement and love. To be fair, we have also gone through some extreme frustrations, lack of sleep, technological errors and guaranteed personality clashes, all of which made the team stronger in the end. When I first joined the Snapper family, I was low in confidence and high in worry, as I had been at MU for a long time already and did not seem to have a specific direction in mind. I was driven but was not allowed to do what I originally wanted, to become an English major.
In visiting the organization’s table at any event I could, I was able to speak with my first Editor-In-Chief, Alex Geli. Despite the fact that I was an older student and visibly pregnant with my son, I was continually welcomed with an open heart. In speaking with Alex and Gene Ellis, the advisor at the time, I could not believe how well I was treated in comparison with the general reactions on campus. I attended a meeting and was so happy to be able to share my writing and thoughts with this group of strangers.
After a year as a staff writer, I learned how editors ran their sections, and trained under my higher up Emily Hepner to become the successor of the Features section. It was exciting and terrifying since the first week for new editors happened to include a massive tech fail, in which five of our six computers were down. We took a group vote and knew that we wanted to begin our legacy with a published issue, staying up beyond sunrise to complete the task. It was one of the proudest moments for us as a team to see the finished product of our dedication, leading to where we are now.
I feel so blessed to have worked with you all, and can honestly see how my writing has improved along with the ways in which we came together as a team during these years. Even more appreciated is the fact that I have always been able to include my son in activities as needed, coupled with an infinite understanding that my role as a mother took priority. I was insecure at the start, but Gene began a sense of inclusion and respect toward my responsibilities and self that has never ceased since. With all advisors, editors and staff members, I have enjoyed spending the long hours together to make the paper that was our creative brainchild.
This past year, we have emerged as croutons in the bread world and have elevated our status as breadsticks aiming for successful futures together. We have spent nights taking turns as the DJ and have eaten more pizza and donuts than we could imagine. We have had family dinners and laughed in hysterics with each minute of potential sleep slipping away as our sanity was spent designing and aligning the margins just right. There have been Sheetz runs in the wee hours, and field trips both near and far together, all of which brought us a little bit closer as we did what we do best. We have had unique and interesting headline jokes, storytelling, ups and downs, decision making and encouragement to show that despite the challenges of the ‘then’, there would be a tomorrow to reflect on success.
I am so proud of everything we have accomplished individually and together, and I am truly sad to have to leave such a beautiful experience. Of all people I spent time with avoiding sleep to finish work, I am so glad that it was with you. Though I have a lot which I wish to share, it mainly umbrellas into the idea that I have a genuine place of love for you guys and I wish more than ever that you continue in your successes and enthusiasm for writing, broadcasting and publishing.
To Allie, I will miss spending time together with Fitness Marshal while we hit the chandeliers and pick our next jam. I always wanted to be comfortable with being silly and am glad we could be silly together. I loved the trip up to New York with you and the way in which our conversation has made the idea of trains entertaining in a new light forever. You have such a bubbly personality and I am so grateful that we were able to become closer this semester. I am so proud of you and the trip you made to Houston, and it will be one of many beautiful adventures you will have. Congratulations on being the new Editor-In-Chief!
To Kelsey, I want to say thank you for inspiring my love of Quiche, cat videos, Cheese and Fedoras. I know I am older than the staff as a whole, but I really enjoyed our talks and consider you a friend as well as a sister. Thank you so much for being my guide as a new editor and for letting me be creative with my section. I am grateful for every color page and Cup O’ Noodles which you gifted me, as well as how you have taught me to become a better writer, leader and person.
To Maria, I wish to thank you for being my fellow study partner in the office all the time, for talking Shakespeare with me, and for reaching out to Quentin to play and watch Elmo together. You have a brilliant mind, and in working and speaking together you have taught me how to manage both school and life scenarios which were otherwise intimidating. I am so proud of you in your thesis work and I can’t wait to hear about your time in Graduate school! You are going to be amazing and will do wonderfully.
To Marie, I say thank you for your creative mind, your fancy artist skills, and your pleasant demeanor. Every time I would see you, there would be a smile on your face despite the large number of pots you may have had to throw or other challenges for the week. Your art and design skills are wicked as is your enthusiasm for life. Keep that inner peace going, and I know you will keep brightening others’ days.
To Taylor, I say thank you for reading countless hours of articles for my section and for making sure they look pretty for print. I am excited to see how you expand your skills and make the Opinion section your own, and I know that everything will turn out beautifully for you.
To Mickayla, I commend you on your efforts and hard work. I have only ever seen a few people work as many hours in their jobs as you have at Panera this past year. I appreciate individuals with drive and goals, and your schedule alone proved to me that this is present. Thank you for helping me fix my caption spacing, for copy editing my work, and for being my neighbor in the city and on our cube farm. I have no doubts that your mom would be proud of you and I am glad to have worked with you on this team.
To Julia, I wish to congratulate your new role as Managing Editor. You are a sweet girl who always shows an optimistic attitude which is a good asset to any family unit, especially to our small family at MU. Thank you for sending video packages and always having good ideas to throw around. You are a bright young woman and I know you will be successful in your endeavors.
To Dan and Sam, I say thank you for making sports more understandable for me, and for accepting my lack of skill in the area without judgement. Dan, you are a triple threat when it comes to skills through your print, radio and TV divisions. Thank you for helping to balance out the estrogen in the team and for sharing your thoughts to make Features more interesting. I look forward to hearing your radio show next semester while I drive to wherever my graduate job search takes me. To Sam, I say thank you for making our editing class more interesting and for teaching Quentin about sports while bonding over chocolate cake. I started as your secretary and essentially ended as the office mom this past year. You are a great writer and I know you will do great things. I wish you all the best and send thoughts of success your way.
To Rachel and Christine, I want to thank you for spending many late hours waiting for my post-its covered in dimensions. Rachel, you are a wonderful lady who has shown nothing but respect and kindness to others and you helped to make my transition from a staff writer to editor much more smooth. Thank you for the little office angel, and for every kindness you have shown. To Christine I send thoughts of excitement for your future career assisting youth as you are presently. You have been through some heavy scenarios in life, and I know you will help individuals in their lives and continue to make the best out of rough times. To both of you, I wish you all the best and thank you for welcoming me to our Snapper family!
To Caroline, I wish to say how grateful I am to have had you as my Associate Features Editor for this past year. You were always actively a part of planning and brainstorming, even though you were involved in a number of things at one time. I want you to know how much I appreciate your help and efforts in creating a masterpiece for our section. I look to you as a role model in how much you put forth no matter how much you have had on your plate at a given time. I’ve missed you these last few weeks but am so glad that you are doing what you love and hope you continue to do so in the future. You are a lovely lady and a hard worker, and I am honored to have worked side by side. Thank you for going crazy with me and living in the office this semester!
To Maria G., I wish you good luck and best wishes in your time as the new Features Editor. I want to thank you for taking the time to train with me and I am excited to see what you do with the Features section. It was a lot of fun being creative together, and thank you for taking on the featurette Back In Time. I wish you all the best and am happy to pass on the experience and role of Features Editor to you. You will do a great job!
To Gene and Dr. Spicer, thank you for helping me keep on track with these last two years and for always having time to listen and provide guidance from your experiences. I hope that I can become as helpful to others as you were for me, and I am grateful that you took time to assist me as needed for my education and time at The Snapper. I have enjoyed being able to share conversations about my family with you and you both played a major role in helping me stay driven toward the completion of my degree. Because of such welcoming guides such as you, I have had a great experience and look forward to sharing my successes with you in the future.
Overall, this family has been amazing and it will be a sad feeling for me to leave you at MU or elsewhere as we proceed into the future. You are all so talented and intelligent, and I wish for you all success and drive as we move on to the next stage of life. It’s been really grand, and it will not be the same on Tuesdays and Thursdays without you guys. Hope to see you guys after graduation and to keep in touch! May there be love and thoughts of peace sent to all of you and good luck to all new staff members as you begin your adventure with your new second family.