Features, Opinion

My self-efficacy — saying goodbye is hard

I am not a humble person. That’s not to say I am a boastful person either.

Rather, I am self-depreciating or effacing to a fault.

I do not enjoy taking pride in my work.

When looking at an end result, I am only able to see the flaws and what I could have changed.

As I sit here writing this, I cannot help but run through my mind all the things I could have done differently for the Agora this year – all the things I could have done better.

As this Winter Semester nears its end, my time not only at the Agora but at MCCC also draws to a close.

It seems like an eternity the four and a half years I have spent here at MCCC.

When I first started off as a part-time student, I had no idea what I was doing with my life. I had taken a gap year from high school to recuperate from all the mentions of college during high school.

After a year of part-time classes, I was invited into the Writing Fellows program.

I had no idea why anyone would want me to be a tutor for other students. Sure, I loved English and writing, but I didn’t think I was good enough to aid others.

My first semester as a Junior Writing Fellow was also the same semester assistant professor of English Lori Jo Couch became the director of the program.

I saw the program grow and evolve first-hand under her guidance and I loved feeling like I was finally a part of something bigger than myself.

In the years since 2017, I have made friends not only with other students but faculty and staff as well.

The other fellows in the Writing Center had become more than just coworkers to me.

I felt at home at MCCC. I was part of a community. I had found my tribe.

In the Fall of 2019, I was recruited by former Agora editor Todd Salisbury to work for the paper due to my status as a Writing Fellow.

I was scared.

I’m not, nor will I ever be, a people person.

The thought of going around campus and interviewing strangers and students paralyzed me.

But I took that proverbial leap of faith.

Needless to say, based on my position now, I didn’t back down.

Working on the Agora only strengthened my love of writing and English even more, showing me different styles of writing while also helping me develop networking skills.

However, as editor, there was so much more I could have done – I should have done.

Initially, I was overjoyed and planning ahead for the Agora, but that was of course before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

With the pandemic, many of my potential desires and wishes had to be scrapped as my assistant editor, Jerry Meade, and I struggled to scrape together as many staff members as we could.

Working with a skeleton crew, we managed to get through the Fall Semester by some miracle under my guidance.

And now as the Winter Semester ends, we were fortunate enough to have a fuller staff to provide support.

And yet I don’t feel like I truly helped the Agora in any way.

I was the interim editor. I was the figurative rope that merely held together the ship to prevent it from falling apart while the world waits out the storm. I did my job, but there was nothing special about it.

I missed opportunities to interact with the community more.

I missed chances to write about special events and goings on for MCCC. Newsworthy stories came and went without ever being covered. I barely kept us afloat.

I have no excuses for this. I tried and I failed. I cannot blame my small staff, nor would I ever want to.

I simply was so focused on trying to keep this metaphorical ship sailing that I would let those things pass without ever truly taking the opportunity to reach out and seize an opportunity.

I wish I had done better.

It will feel surreal to soon leave campus for the final time. Honestly, I don’t think I’m quite ready for it yet. I have spent so many days and nights here; the Writing Center and the Agora were like a second home to me.

The feeling of fighting and choking back tears as I write this is stressful enough just imagining that day.

I have spent so much time here learning and helping that I will have a hard time finally leaving MCCC.

MCCC and everyone here has done so much for me, and I just wish I were able to give more back in return.

This summer, I finish my bachelor’s in Professional Communications at Siena Heights and my journey through higher education will end.

After that, I quite honestly have no idea what the future holds.

I’m scared for that as well. If I could spend the rest of my life learning and teaching in an environment such as this, I would.

I’ve always been bad at saying goodbyes. I’m a very emotionally inarticulate person despite my wish to be more open and available.

So instead, I will leave you all with this.

Thank you.

Thank you, Lori Jo and all the Writing Fellows who have been my family, for the past four years.

Thank you, Professor Bird-Meyer, Jerry and my staff for aiding me in this journey and providing support.

Thank you, MCCC.