My Final Goodbye

Maggie Connolly ‘21

Chief Opinions’ Editor

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a writer. When I was a teenager, I became interested in politics, culture, and society. Journalism was my perfect avenue to consolidate my passion for writing with this newfound interest. Working for my high school paper became one of the most formative experiences of my life.

By the time I got to college, I was overwhelmed with the possibilities of what I could do and who I could become. Clubs and organizations were minor blips in the exciting world of being a freshman and making new friends at Holy Cross. By the time the second semester came, I decided to apply for a position on the newspaper staff. I thought Opinions sounded nice, I had always had a lot of opinions, or at least that’s what I was told for most of my life.

I had suddenly found a home, a secret escape, to write weekly op-eds about whatever my heart desired. I did not advertise my work to my friends or peers, it was an escape from the mundanity from writing papers, responses, or assignments. It allowed me to regain a sense of confidence in myself as a writer, thinker, journalist, and individual. It was a part of me I had come so close to losing.

It might seem silly to think that The Spire allowed me to regain a sense of self throughout college, but it is an experience that will stick with me for the rest of my life. In a time where I was living day-to-day and often forgetting about the driven, goal-oriented writer I was in high school, writing as an Opinions’ Editor kept me grounded in who I was and allowed me to grow simultaneously.

I very intentionally chose to continue writing for The Spire when I left to study abroad halfway around the world. I was so lucky to have a paper and staff who were ready and willing to take my pieces about my time and experience in South Africa and publish them in a paper predominantly about life in the United States, Massachusetts, and particularly Holy Cross. It kept me connected to the school and the place I was missing, while also allowing me to commemorate my experience on a weekly basis.

This year, working as the Chief Opinions’ Editor has been challenging, unusual, and rewarding in more ways than I can put into words. My pieces continue to be moments, hours, or even days of relief from school and my life moving around me as I write them. This year, I have been able to facilitate that experience for four wonderful editors. It has been such a joy to see the excitement and energy in the Opinions’ Section this year. In a time where so many things were changing and adapting, The Spire remained a constant source of light, hope, and continuity for me and so many others.

For those of you who have read and engaged with my articles throughout the past three and a half years, thank you. It means the world to know that even one pair of eyes witnessed a piece of work I published. To all the Chief Editors I have ever worked under, thank you a million times over. To Kelly and Matt, thank you two for making a great thing out of a difficult year. A very special thanks to Kelly for dealing with all of my scary InDesign and Adobe issues and for always being attentive and caring.

This paper is more than just a blurb on a resume or a weekly piece for my portfolio. It has been a vital part of my experience as a Holy Cross student. It gave me a push at a time I did not know I needed one and reminded me why writing brings me joy. Thank you for countless opportunities to tell stories, share experiences, and sometimes, type a little angrily about the state of the world. Journalism is about more than just news, it is about storytelling and creating content for the world around you, and The Spire is a constant reminder of that.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you, a million times over.

Photo Courtesy of Matt Anderson

Categories: Opinions

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