At Suffolk University, I’ve become a practicing journalist, storyteller, on-camera talent, broadcast reporter, filmmaker, poet, creative writer, cartoonist, animator, philosopher, honors student, tourist in Dublin, North End resident, and the biggest fan of El Jefe's.
My direction in life changed quickly when I enrolled at Suffolk University. Fear of who I am used to trap me like a storm hell-bent on pushing wet sand into dry dunes. My mind split, and I learned that through knowledge I could begin to heal. In that knowledge, I found myself. Suffolk continues to guide me toward this truth: I am in charge of my own story, in charge of calming the hell-bent storm.
How’d this mindset start?
In the fall of my sophomore year, I joined Suffolk’s CAS Honors Program in New Orleans for the annual National Collegiate Honors Conference. Keynote speaker Lynda Barry led me through a three-hour drawing and writing workshop focused on storytelling. It is from this exposure that I saw my mind on paper. I could read who I was with just a pen. I started keeping journals—pages swept with messy cursive, drafted skits, glue-stuck stickers, and pictures of dynamic friendships taken at milestone moments like my roommate Chryssabella’s 21st birthday party at her parents’ home in Alstead, New Hampshire. I got to flow through my life and capture the youth. The journals helped me shed opinions that no longer fit my mentality. I matured at Suffolk, and I learned that maturing is mindfulness: being aware of art and self-reflection when I feel lost, finding gratitude in close friends and family, and becoming my own best friend.
As I grew to understand my reality, Suffolk’s Studio 73 showed me how to harness visual media. Jerry Glendye, Patrick Lys, Anim Osmari, and Dai Podziewski became my unexpected family of rock stars and Marvel movie conspiracists. I found a safe space to craft. I started my freshman year with Movie Checklist, a movie review show that had two anchors and one editor. Now I end my senior year as president of Ram Cam, Suffolk’s film club, having hosted a red carpet premiere for my first short film, Cigs N Gigs. The crew consisted of over 40 students—including star talent, musicians, film scorers, and creative consultants—from Suffolk, Northeastern University, Berklee College of Music, Boston University, and Emerson College. Cigs N Gigs 2: Illuminati Nonsense is in pre-production; test shoots and location scouting start this summer.
As for my career in broadcast news, I became a Suffolk in the City reporter for New England Cable News. I took the skills I learned in class and told stories I was passionate about, like the biggest gathering of vampires in Salem’s history, and a Suffolk student’s trip to volunteer and raise funds for Quill Art, a Peruvian school in Quillabamba, Cusco. I had an internship with Channel 7News and Dirty Water Media. This summer, I will be continuing to work with Dirty Water as a nightlife entertainment reporter.
Homesickness ate away at me at Suffolk. College made me question myself, and I had no one around who knew me. There were moments where I’d lose myself, unsure of the next step, and then spiral into toxic situations and dopamine rushes. When the pandemic hit and plopped me back home, my family and I grew accustomed to a routine of movie nights and bike rides to Shaw Farm in Dracut, Massachusetts. “Zoom University” was held in the attic, near the front of the house with a wide window view full of natural light. It was the perfect spot to indulge my writing and to learn French with Madame Marjorie Salvodon and my best friend, Isabel Abdallah.
I can’t wait to live at home again. I miss pond hockey with my brother Spencer, last-minute fishing trips with my dad, and being a stupendous goofball with my mom. I also miss my Lowell Catholic High School friends—the homies who support every step of my journey and always welcome me back with warm hugs, life-or-death dance battles, and a shot at the cup pong table.
Suffolk University is like a rich soil that nourished my growth. I branched out of my comfort zone and blossomed into the best version of myself. I am grateful to find who I am here. My advice to anyone who ever feels this change when entering college is to accept the uncomfortable moments and talk to yourself until you remember who you are. A pen and paper is an easy portal to see the things that make us think and write a life story worth reading.