As the class of 2018 pushes onward towards the final moments of their undergraduate careers, The Impact’s own senior staff members reflect on the experiences, friendships and challenges they have faced during their time at Mercy. What was once a fledgling staff of a few devoted writers and editors has now blossomed into a fully-functioning news machine, consisting of passionate writers, videographers, digital editors, audio engineers, tech geeks, history buffs, pop culture-obsessives, and overall, a staff that is committed to publishing the truth.
Though our seniors journeys with The Impact are coming to a close, a whole new chapter of their lives are just beginning. We look forward to seeing all that they accomplish in their professional and personal lives, and above all, hope to see them flourish in whatever they choose to pursue in life.
Here are the parting words from some of the senior staff members of The Impact.
“Since I am graduating soon from Mercy College, I am reminiscing on the years that I have been here. It was filled with a lot of sad and depressing moments at first. I came to class and did work then left school. It was a cycle that was going on for most of my college years. I didn’t have any college friends. I had people that I talked with in my classes once in awhile but not enough to form a bond. I didn’t know anyone outside of school. My only friends was many miles away from me and it was okay for me. I didn’t realize until joining The Impact and getting to know everyone that I needed people to joke around with in person. They made school and my senior year more fun. I wished these bonds could have formed earlier in our college years but everything happens the time it needs to happen.
Although I thought that it would be like a regular class, it is definitely not. The Impact is something special, a place to form bonds, learn more about journalism, and to show your work. I remember I was scared to post my first column because before I joined The Impact the only people that read my writing was professors. I feel so much more comfortable after spending two semesters in it. The experience that I have gotten from The Impact will be one I always remember. Also, thanks Perrota for being the best professor and mentor during my college years.” —Tanisha Esprit
“Looking back at my last four years, college has been a wild ride. If you were to tell me four years ago I would be writing for the school paper I would have stared at you, laughed and walked away. I never liked writing because I wasn’t particularly good at. It wasn’t until I took newspaper reporting with Perrota did I see a new side to it. I didn’t like writing English papers so I figured all writing was the same. I soon learned journalism is far from that. I mostly liked Perrota’s teaching styles, so I took every class I could with him and ended up with a double concentration in TV and Radio Production and Journalism. So thanks Perrota for putting up with me for two years.
As for all of the amazing people I met in The Impact I want to thank you for making me feel like I fit in, in such a small amount of time. You all have this wacky sense of humor I grew to love and wish I knew you all for longer. I know you will go far in life and I can’t wait to come back and have another outing at Double Days. Thank you for all the laughs and an amazing ending to my college career.”—Dani Sarasky
“It’s insane my college experience is coming to an end. Before coming to Mercy College I had a closed mindset because of where I am from. Now that I am reflecting on what I have done in these years and the people I had the chance to meet it brings a smile to my face when I think about it.
I want to take this time and say that life is beautiful and sometimes you will have those days where you want to scream and give up. I’ve had many of those days, yet now, I appreciate them. Challenge yourself and get out of your comfort zone because if you play it safe, you will not find out what you’re capable of doing.
So thank you Mercy College, but I want to give a special thanks to the people who have crossed my path one way or another. A shout out to my PR team as well because we have formed a bond and I will truly miss learning from all of you.”—Sandra Romero
“When I moved to New York from a small town in Illinois, I had no idea that I would grow to be the person I am today. I know that Mercy isn’t really considered a dream college, but it has given me everything I’ve needed in the past four years to prepare myself for the future.
Blossoming from a shy little freshman, I’ve made a family within the MTEC program—and during my final semester, I’ve also been welcomed with open arms into the Impact. The Impact is an off-the-wall group of creative minds, who have the biggest hearts and the most bombastic personalities. I’m so thankful to have been accepted into the group as one of their own, and my only regret is not joining earlier to spend more time with these amazing people.
I’m so thankful that Mercy has given me the opportunities to explore all of my interests, from audio to environmental science to journalism. Journalism has by far been something that I had never considered doing, and after being in the Impact and having the encouragement of my classmates and Professor Perrota I know that this is a passion that I can successfully follow. I’m so glad that I was able to use my knowledge of audio to help make the Impact even greater, and I’m sure that it’s only going to get better from here.
Most people in my situation would be glad to be leaving school, but I’m actually sad to be leaving everything I’ve built for myself here. This semester I’ve been completely happy and comfortable with my life for the first time in a long time, and leaving that all behind is going to be a struggle. I know, though, that I don’t have to worry about the family I’ve made here. They will always be by my side, and I know that we’ll be helping each other and encouraging each other’s journeys for years to come.
Thank you Impact, and thank you Mercy for letting me the best I could be. Here’s to the road ahead.”—Kristin Millard
“My four years at Mercy College has instilled in me the firm belief your life is whatever you make from it and do with it. Nothing is ever comes easy, but when you work hard, put the time in, and willing to make the full effort there is not limit to far you can go.
I came to Mercy College not so much for college, but to escape to a wider world I had been waiting years to join. I have had the opportunity to see many different parts of the New York City metro area, interned for a media company who’s channels I’ve watched all my life, learn more about who I am as a person, and met many amazing people, especially the friends I have made. Let me say, my friends are the greatest part of my college experience. Without, them I never would have gotten to these last couple weeks of college. My friends will always have a special place with me because they have gotten me through bullying by my first roommate, eccentric professors, relationships that turned bad, and lifted up my spirits with the laughs they have given me.
The best part of my senior year has been joining The Impact and making new friends with everyone that I have met because of it. Directly to all of the staff: You have inspired me to be a better writer, to push myself harder to be the best journalist I can be, and given me memories I’ll never forget. We are crazy and as Perrota says a “motley crew,” but we are each other’s crazy, passionate, smart, and funny motley crew. I’ll miss our Thursdays together! #ImpactForever”—Matt Reich
“So look, I know everyone who’s doing one of these parting shots is going to say something mushy like “I’ll miss you all” or “I loved the people here” or “hire me”, but I’m not going to do that. My parting shot is this, screw Lessing’s. That’s right, I got a bone to pick with the people who made the food at the campus the last 4 years, they stink. Seriously I can only eat one meal on campus, period, or else my stomach begins to hurt. So please Mercy, think about your students who aren’t commuters who can get their next meal outside of the campus. My middle school had a former prison chief on its kitchen staff, and they did a better job then Lessing’s. Our chicken nuggets could bounce, bounce! And that was better than the bricks you put into our stomachs. I don’t know if its the food that they shipped, the prepping or what but it needs to stop. Not many people realize how important it is to serve food that will not poison you, but I do. It is seriously my only complaint with this college, nothing else bothered me about this place. So please, just build a Wild Wings on campus, tear down that pool no one uses and put the land to good use. While you’re at it, build a Mcdonalds and an Nathans, because variety is important. Don’t ask me where to get the funds for all of this, I’m out of here. The only reason I’m typing this out at all is because I got friends who are still on the inside, who need me to not drop the ball on this. So for them, please improve the quality of food. I like it when my friends are alive and not poisoned. Anyway bye to my friends on the other side, you better graduate or else! Talking to you video game/ anime club, no slacking off now that I’m gone. I blew my parting shot on trying to get you better food, so you have no excuse not to graduate.”—Mark McCarthy
“My college experience has been far from the traditional, straightforward, four-year journey most people go through. After two and a half years at Quinnipiac University, it felt like my world was turned upside down when I had to leave. I had made six lifelong best friends who I spent (literally) every waking moment with and couldn’t fathom the thought of not spending every day with them any more. When it was time to re-enroll at Mercy, I was less than thrilled to say the least. However, it didn’t take long to discover the school paper. As someone who’s naturally shy, I kept my guard up for a while before jumping in head first to The Impact, and it wasn’t until this past year, my senior year, that I really grew to love every member of the staff. The Impact made the trauma of having to transfer schools and leave behind my old friends a little easier to bare.
Working with everyone to produce something that we were proud of was one of the most gratifying moments of my college career. I’ve enjoyed watching everyone’s strengths and skills grow and flourish, and I can say that I’m proud to have been a part of this crazy little crew of writers, videographers, editors, and goofballs. Thanks for the memz, guys. “—Nora-Grayce Orosz
“Most can attest to the fact that it’s difficult to have the full “college experience” as a commuter. And I am no exception. When I transferred to Mercy after attending community college for a year, I was lost. I didn’t have the slightest clue as to what I wanted to do with my life, and for my first two years at Mercy, I was the girl who ran right to her car after class. And while I could’ve put in more effort, I found it difficult to make connections with people when I only saw them during class.
When I finally switched my major to journalism and joined The Impact, everything changed, and for that I’ll be forever grateful. The Impact has given me confidence, friendships that I hope will last a lifetime (shout-out to my best friend, Nic Acosta – future Managing Editor), and the closest thing to a full college experience possible.
I’m lucky to have been a part of a staff that was full of intelligent, creative, and passionate writers. You all inspired me every day and The Impact has earned such a special place in my heart. It’s been an amazing year, and that’s all thanks to the wonderful, and sometimes insane, Impact staff.”—Liv Meier
“When looking at colleges as a senior in high school, I looked for two things: a school that would help me excel in my major (which I ended up changing) and a school that was obscure enough that no one in my high school would think to attend with me. I was eager to reinvent myself and wasn’t sure where to start. These last four years have taught me so much about myself that I would have never thought that I would be where I am today. I started as a freshman with a big circle of friends that morphed into a circle of 3 or 4 and then a line segment consisting of myself and one other girl that I met as a freshman. I have already written my share of negative comments and reflections about my time at Mercy College in a previous column (that y’all should go read…) but one positive thing that came out of these 4 years was The Impact.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I walked into the journalism lab on the first day of senior year. At first, I wasn’t sure if I was coming or going. I even missed the first hard deadline of the fall semester which had me contemplating to drop the class. By that point, I was too far in to turn back now (Not to mention, I wouldn’t get a refund for the class so I was stuck) I dug my heels in and powered forward. I did not know that these driven, strong-willed and determined beings and Professor Perrota would become an extended family for me. Yes, we have had our share of awkward moments and heated disagreements but that is what families do. I could not be more proud of the work that myself and the rest of The Impact staff have produced over this year. We went from an intimate staff of maybe 10-12 in the fall semester and doubled by the spring. All of the talent that has come from this paper, the world better get ready because we are just getting started!
Much love to both the Impact fam that I am leaving behind and the ones who will cross the stage alongside me on May 16. I know all of us are destined for great things and I cannot wait to be able to say that I knew you guys way back before the fame.”—Chelsea Renay