My name is Leah Dwyer, I am a graduating senior. I major in journalism and communications and a fun fact about myself is that I have a hamster named Nimbus.
I'm just kidding–not about the hamster, he’s real– I'll instead start from the beginning, which is not so long ago. Four years ago, I committed to Purchase to play lacrosse with the hopes of majoring in English, it did not take long for me to realize the school does not have an English program. I liked to write and creative writing seemed to me to be an unrealistic goal, logically I chose journalism. So, freshman year I came to college with absolutely no experience in writing journalistically, bad grammar and no interest in politics. I leave Purchase now having learned two of those things–politics is still not for me, sorry Dad.
This year was my first time in person for The Phoenix. It was difficult to say the least, but instead of extreme anxiety I was met with a text from my co-editor Barbara Kay. It was a question along the lines of, “Do you want to clean up the Phoenix room with me?” I suited up and together we went into the room that had gone untouched for three years. Playing music and inviting other contributors, we spent hours down there finding old copies of the paper and Phoenix merchandise to dress up the room. Quickly The Phoenix became more than just a group of people I loved and something that looked good on a resume, now we had a home.
For four years the Phoenix has been a safe haven for me as a new writer. It was a space for me to make mistakes, and I made a lot of them. It was a place that allowed me to foster a love and understanding of journalism outside of the restraints of a class curriculum. It taught me that journalism is not just politics– thank God– but can be fun and lighthearted. Life is not always so serious and seeing the world through other people has shown me that every single time I begin to forget it.
But sometimes life is not so fun and can be serious. Whether it was a serious story I thought I was incapable of tackling or a serious moment in my life, I was always met with a person ready to be there for me. Whether it was my editors sophomore year when I began as an intern, Diana Gilday and Ingrid Kildiss, my co-editor Marcia Hunt junior year, my co-editor this year Barbara Kay, or our advisor Professor Donna Cornachio who was there for it all, I was able to find a support system at The Phoenix every time. For all my contributors and friends at The Phoenix, I can only hope you feel the same about me. I don't know how I got so lucky to have all of you in my life. From the very bottom of my heart, I really cannot thank all of you enough.
Purchase is a place I will leave a part of myself in, and that part will be in the basement of Campus Center North in room 0024.
With all my love,