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THE PACE CHRONICLE

Senior Goodbye: Michelle Ricciardi

Michelle Ricciardi

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After what seems like way too many years in the making, it’s finally time for me to graduate.

I’m not the typical college student. My life has been much more complex than the traditional route from high school to college to hired at 21.

I started out in 2011 at The University of Delaware. I made friends quickly and made some of the most unforgettable memories of my life there. I was a pharmacy major and I thought that is where my life would be for the next four years.

But life had other plans for me; I ended up transferring to a community college back home in Westchester after realizing that I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life. The only thing that was certain was that I didn’t want to be a scientist, no matter how good I thought the money would be.

Fast forward to 2015 after completing my Associates degree in Communication and Media Arts and transferring to Pace. I was full of newfound hope and finally felt like I was heading in the right direction.

That’s where I found my love of writing: in Kevin Czerwinski’s Writing for Print Media course. As a professor, he challenged me and helped me grow as a journalist. He helped me achieve this very position as the editor-in-chief of the Chronicle.

In fact, the relationships that I have formed with the students and amazing faculty here at Pace are some of the most valuable in my life.

It’s not easy to transfer into a university as a 22-year-old commuter and form significant connections. But over the past two years I crossed paths with some of the kindest and some of the most intelligent and talented students that I’m proud to call my friends.

I’ve had the opportunity to interview athletes, veterans, professors and staff that have incredible backgrounds and hobbies.

I have been motivated and mentored by some of the most compassionate and brilliant minds.

I will never forget the group of students that I traveled to Greece with for study abroad and the memories we made there. I will never forget Dr. Jane Collins and how she inspired me to start my own travel blog with tales of her surf-camp travels. I will never forget drinking wine and discussing the philosophies of Plato and Socrates with the genius Dr. Nicholas Catalano-the most interesting man that I have ever met. These people all inspired me by sharing their knowledge and experiences with me so that I could think about life in a whole new way.

I will never forget Professor Michael Perrota who supported my vision of what I wanted this paper to become for students- a way to connect the outside world with the university and to make students think about world issues and how their lives are connected to everything that happens both on and off campus. Thank you Perrota for being an inspiring mentor, motivator, and friend.

So I will leave you with this, Pace: I started my college career trying to chase money instead of listening to my heart and I probably would have ended up miserable in a few years if fate hadn’t stepped in and pulled me in another direction. I hope you don’t make the same mistake.

I hope you all follow your passion and turn your dreams into reality. I hope you find happiness and find what success means to you, but don’t ever feel like you have to sacrifice one for the other. I hope you don’t become like the generations before us that we have mocked for their cynical views on the quality of life. I hope you work hard, become successful, and go after what you truly want in life. I hope you never take this life or anyone in it for granted. I hope you always hold onto who you are and never sell out. I hope you never become so busy trying to make a living that you forget to have a life.

Everything changes now. We’ll make mistakes. We’ll face challenges just like we have time and time again. But as long as we never lose sight of our dreams, we will all end up where we want to be.

Good luck to the graduating class of 2017 and the future staff of The Pace Chronicle.

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