Opinion: Mission Hundred Days: Day 29

“Looking back and thinking about the shy freshman I once was, I’m in awe of how far I’ve come. I’ve changed for the better in so many ways. I’ve gained confidence as a writer, artist, and person. I pierced my nose, came out as gay, and have never been happier.”

This photo is from Wojcik’s accepted students day in 2016. Now she reflects on her time at Canisius as a part of Opinion’s Mission 100 Days series. Credit: Abby Wojcik

Coronavirus took away the last few months of my senior year. I’m missing out on my senior reading, the next Quadrangle unveiling, my last Griff Fest, the last Mud issue, and even graduation itself. I’m missing out on so much and it breaks my heart, but I also have so much from my time at Canisius that this virus could never take away.

While I’m sad to be missing out on the tail end of my senior year, it’s really the past four years that mean more to me. The people I’ve met, memories I’ve made, and lessons I’ve learned are what I’m going to cherish more than my diploma.

The thing that’s meant the most to me about my time at Canisius is hands down The Griffin. I’m sure many others can relate to having a club mean so much to them. The Griffin is where I found not only friends, family, and a sense of home, I found myself there.

I entered The Griffin club room as a scared, innocent, shy freshman. I was even too scared to write anything at first, and I tried to ghost the newspaper all together. I simply stopped going to storyboard meetings all together, no explanation. If it wasn’t for the tenacious features editor running into me at Iggy’s and asking me why I wasn’t coming back to write, I never would have been writing this now.

I never would have done so many things at Canisius without being a part of The Griffin. It led me to participate in and submit to Quadrangle, where I had something published all three years. I was able to learn more about Campus Ministry, which led me to Kairos, immersion trips, more friends, more memories, and a better understanding of my relationship with God.

I met all my close friends through The Griffin. I remember staying up late on Thursday nights in the office, getting Tim’s right before they put the gate up, and joking around with everyone until the paper was finally finished. That office is just the right amount of cozy and grimy to make it the perfect college hangout. Anyone who’s ever been there past midnight can attest to this.

The people I became close with are what have made Canisius so special for me. They made me feel loved, accepted, heard, and cared for more than I have felt in my entire life.

Looking back and thinking about the shy freshman I once was, I’m in awe of how far I’ve come. I’ve changed for the better in so many ways. I’ve gained confidence as a writer, artist, and person. I pierced my nose, came out as gay, and have never been happier.

As I approach graduation, I’m feeling ready and excited for whatever comes next. I’m also feeling overwhelmingly grateful for the time I got at Canisius. Thank you to my parents, family, all my fellow Griffin staff members, all my teachers over the years, and my wonderful girlfriend. No virus can take away what you, The Griffin, and Canisius have given me.

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