CT seniors say farewell

Illustration by Killian Goodale-Porter.

Gabriela de Camargo Gonçalves, Executive editor

“Today I used my new ‘press pass,’ and it was so cool. I’m going to give this newspaper thing my all. I have my work cut out for me,” I wrote in my journal in October 2021 after working on one of my first articles for The Commonwealth Times.

Two years and many articles later, I’m saying farewell to The CT and VCU. Anyone that has been in my life this past semester knows “graduation” has been a prohibited word. The thought of finishing a cycle is exciting, but hauntingly terrifying. 

I could cite every graduation and farewell cliche — it would make summing up my time here easier — but all I can do is thank everyone that has been with me through it all. Without my family and friends, this wouldn’t have been possible. Well, I guess I had to say that cliche at least or else they’d be mad at me. 

Even as a writer, it’s hard to express what it all means to me and put these two years into words. Thank you to all the different writers and staff members I have worked with throughout my time at The CT; thank you for the laughs, friendships, hard work, and lessons I’ve learned from you. 

Thank you to the readers and the stories you’ve allowed us to tell. 

Thank you to this newspaper that has given me opportunities this Brazilian immigrant couldn’t have dreamed of. 

Hollyann Purvis, Managing Editor

I’ve been at The CT for almost two years now, which means I’ve read my fair share of senior farewell letters. I’ve also cried at 90% of them. 

Well, now it’s my turn. And I don’t really know what to say.

I can’t list all the amazing people I’ve met at The CT without running the risk of crying and never finishing this. You know who you are, and I love you.

I don’t know what other workplace will listen to every detail of my Hinge dates like you all did.

My time at this paper was special because of you guys. Thank you.

HP, SO. 

Selna Shi, News Editor

@channel, my time at the CT has come to an end and while it is bittersweet, I am excited to see what my next gig is. 

Anyways, here’s a poem that I wrote to summarize my feelings about the CT.

 

I have struggled as the News Editor

Like the ones before me

The stress is like a predator

Rawr XD

 

We wrote about Glenn Youngkin

The election and VCU Dine

Ahahaha we’re journalists or something

Always on the grind

 

Word by word we read

We type in “FINAL” and we are freed

I take pride in what I do

And love working with the crew

 

My passion for writing has grown

I hope my work has been made known

Thank you to all with me on this journey

I’m going to celebrate with a panini

 

Okay, that’s all and also I love oxford commas. :pepe-sparkly-heart

Kofi Mframa, Opinions Editor

I wanted to be an architect when I was young. I always loved the idea of creating something abundant in both beauty and function — a trellis for the soul and body. This career aspiration didn’t last long for me, I would spend most of middle and high school searching for my purpose. I changed my mind a lot. I wanted to study chemical engineering at some point (for whatever reason). But with every dream deferred, every career path forgone, writing remained at the center of it all. 

Writing, as an art form and a means of expression, became a safe haven for me. I’ve always found solace in its barren vulnerability. Words on a page, as simple as they may be, can pierce the heart and stretch the mind with such frankness and honesty. 

What I loved most about writing and editing for The CT is the opportunity to confirm and expand the worldview of those who interact with my work. I’ve also been so blessed to work with great writers who were so willing to lay bare the inner workings of their minds and nuanced thoughts of the world around them.

As my tenure as Opinions Editor comes to a close, I will carry these lessons and perspectives with me wherever I go. 

Special thanks to everyone who has inspired me in my time here: Anna Chen, Chloe Hawkins, Ishaan Nandwani, Hollyann Purvis, Gabi de Camargo Gonçalves, Katie Farthing, Selna Shi, Thai Wilson, Peggy Stansbery, Arrick Wilson, Killian Goodale-Porter, Andrew Kerley, Solimar Santoyo, Victor Romanko, Olivia McCabe, Gabe Molina, Breyana Stewart and Arielle Andrews. 

Whenever inspiration is slow to come, I’ll always find words in all of you. Thank you.

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