Opinion: Mission 100 days: Day 22: I couldn’t be more grateful

Today should have been different. Every day of my last 100 days, probably should have been different. But we’re here now. We’re one week away from classes ending, and it’s all so strange.

I sit in my college apartment looking for one-bedroom apartments on Trulia, I call my friends on Facetime, do what homework is left, all when I’m not working from home on my company’s computer. I didn’t expect to be working this much until after graduation, but I’m grateful.

A week ago I had a phone call with a stranger who was helping me get in touch with someone I could interview. He caught me later in the day than I expected, and I was honest with him – “Can I interview her after my zoom class?” I’m actually an intern and a senior in college at Canisius.

A little surprised, the man said something along the lines of “Wow, this must be a strange time for you.” I said it is, but I’m grateful. 

I’ve been working more hours than ever at my job, which is in local news. There, I cover the coronavirus more often than not. At my internship, also in local news, I cover the coronavirus more often than not. But under these circumstances, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

This is what I went to Canisius for: for magis. The greater. To be better, to serve the greater good, to seek better, to love like Jesus did. Canisius gave me more than I could have asked for. This wasn’t just an education, this was a chance for me to become the person I feel I had in me all along. To be the person who can serve her community with all her heart. 

So, in this pandemic, I’m grateful. To be working in local news from home, to be serving my community in any way I can. That’s why I chose to be a journalist all along, and even though this came sooner than I had planned, I’m glad Canisius gave me the skills I need to be the journalist I get to be right now. It’s a privilege I am grateful for. 

I think that Canisius, more than anything else, didn’t just prepare me to be a journalist; this place taught me how to work harder, love deeper, seek greater, and walk more gently. 

Canisius showed me that love abounds; that in all the bad times there is still so much love to be seen. Canisius gave me the skills to survive the worst of times, and the friends to be there when I don’t think I can. 

These weeks have been rough for many reasons, but I’m also immunocompromised. When I’ve needed food, medicine, a (virtual shoulder) to cry on, the people that have shown up to help have been my Canisius friends. While transitioning to this new form of working, it was my professors and the Canisius alumni who have mentored me that checked in on me to make sure I’m okay and healthy. 

I wish I had more days in the quad, laying on a blanket at sunset doing homework. I wish I could hold hands with my friends in the tunnels as we eat cake we found in the commuter lounge. I miss the chapel, I miss crying with my friends on Kairos, I miss all the quintessentially Canisius experiences we took for granted sometimes. 

Most of all, I miss my Griffin family. I joined the newspaper as a shy freshman. I’m leaving as the managing editor who was unafraid to stand up to people who didn’t believe in what we did as a paper. But most of all I’m leaving knowing that I made friends for a lifetime. A group of people who know me, the most real version of me, and who love me for that. We’ve eaten pasta from the same bowl, we’ve held each other through the hardest days, and I would do anything for any of them at the drop of a dime. I know they would do the same for me.

While I’m sad things didn’t end the way we had planned, I feel ready for my future. I feel that Canisius gave me so much, but most of all it let me grow the roots I need for a life well-lived. No virus, no pandemic can ever erode the strength, hope and love this place instilled in me. 

Nothing will ever take away the love, connections or the person Canisius made me. I hope that other soon-to-be alumni feel the same. 

Ad majorem dei gloriam. 

Thank you for reading my stories all these years, signing off for the last time,

Emyle

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