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The Ionian

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The Student News Site of Iona University

The Ionian

The Student News Site of Iona University

The Ionian

One Last Issue

Finally, I made it. Well, there is still some way to go, but I am so close that I can feel that highly anticipated exhale building up and expanding in my lungs. On December 21st, when all is said and done, I will breathe out and let the winter solstice’s wind carry my words: “I did it.”  

Until then, I will be waiting, counting down the days, assignments, events and even newspaper issues because I am ready to leave. As of now, I have 14 days to go, three major assignments left, possibly two events to attend or “host” and one last issue, which is the one I am currently writing this piece for. Just one last issue, that’s all.  

Candidly speaking, I couldn’t be more excited. Surely, it can be bittersweet when graduating college, especially when one raced through adversity to do so, but for me it is just sweet. Sweet like the pastel pink colors of the sunsets that occasionally grace Iona’s campus, some of which I’ve looked to when I felt like I wouldn’t make it past the finish line. But in those moments, there was the sun setting, reminding me that there is always a finish line to be crossed and that I would cross it.  

Keeping hold of vigor has felt nearly impossible these past couple of weeks. I have lost to the battle of senioritis, but to be frank, I wouldn’t consider this a loss. Nearing the end of my time at Iona has only made me more aware of the truth that nothing really matters. I’m not saying this to discourage anyone or throw a little pity party for myself; rather I am saying this to help anyone who is struggling to let things be, as I did for the entirety of my college “career.”  For all three years, I worked myself to the bone, taking on unnecessary tasks, saying yes to projects when I could have said no and refusing to admit my ever-growing exhaustion.  

Yet, when I reached the end of my junior year, all this hard work that I’d been losing sleep, meals and satisfaction to resulted in…absolutely nothing. Nothing at all but being so burnt out that my mind felt like a well-done steak and my body felt like the remains of a burnt down house. It was then that I started questioning the pressure that others at Iona and I placed on me to be invincible and seamless.  

Outrageous, isn’t it? That I and others spent a good portion of our time here feeling like this. It took me reaching senior year to realize that Iona’s efforts to be an institution of “greatness” and “inclusivity” have been misconstrued into an undeniable pressure for students like me to be “excellent,” and with no incentive, but the reminder of “you are being watched.”  It is sad to think that many of my accomplishments in my time at Iona have come out of this narrative. 

Ultimately, everything is relative, and so I can only speak to my experience here; so, I will. My time at Iona was not the best—it wasn’t the worst either. I have many positive memories, but I also have not-so positive ones. And I can tell my fellow readers this, it does not matter—only do the things you want to do, be the person you want to be, take the time you need to take and operate according to your standard.  

It is then that you will understand, none of that matters, but all of this—you and your wants and needs—does matter.  

“Our time at Iona is limited” is a reality you are reminded of the second you step foot on campus. People say, “make the most of your four years at college” or “these will be the best four years of your life,” and to that second statement, I hope to God not. Still, do not let that pressure get to you because there is no way that these four years can matter that much in the grand scheme of things. If I could go back in time and tell my freshman year-self something, it would be this: 

Niomi,  

All that you need to know, you already know. Trust yourself in that, and don’t let the pressure get to you. (P.S. Take a chill pill, everything turned out pretty awesome for the most part).

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About the Contributor
Niomi Nunez, Editor-in-Chief
Contact E-Mail: [email protected] Hi everyone, my name is Niomi! I am a senior and a Journalism major. I am more than excited to work with the rest of Ionian staff this year!  

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