I’ve written some tough stories before, stories where I’ve had to pour through endless notes and interviews and pump out 600 words within an hour. But this one, a goodbye column with me as the only source, may very well be the hardest. I’ve always been good at making deadline, but it’s so tough that, as I write this, I’m way past it, and my editor is probably pissed (rightfully so).

But why is writing this goodbye so hard? I kept asking myself for hours while staring at a blank Word document. I mean, it’s not like I’ll miss the work — the work’s not really going anywhere anyway. You can take on a career, you can climb the ladder, you can move from place to place, but the work is always there.

That’s when I found my answer: What you can’t always take with you are the people — the people who make your work actually mean something.

Don’t get me wrong, you could work from home for your entire life and still make work important and meaningful. But when you meet amazing people who share the same dreams, you’d be crazy not to let them push you forward more than you ever could on your own.

The truth is, Cardinal Points is the sole reason why Plattsburgh State was my first choice. But, at the time, I was really only excited about writing cool stories and designing a newspaper. What more was there to it? Well, not long after joining, I realized there’s something besides the work that makes Cardinal Points special.

Were it not for the people whom I worked with every week for hours on end, there’s no way in hell Cardinal Points would’ve changed my life the way it did. And when you spend that much time with people like you, calling them “friends” doesn’t cut it.
They’re family.

First off, a shout-out to my fellow seniors.

No matter what you do with your life, the keys to success are to never give up, be brave and fight for what you know is right. Brittany, you taught me this better than anyone else in here. No matter how hard things get, you don’t quit until you find a way through.

Even if we think we can handle it all, sometimes we all need a little help. Amanda, you never stopped being there when I needed it most, and I wouldn’t have accomplished so much without your help.

But when the going gets rough, we can never forget about kindness. Alex, you couldn’t be mean to someone even if he or she broke your camera, and I mean that in the best way possible. Never change that, buddy. It’s something many people, including myself, can learn to do better.

And Zach — my brother since freshman year. Back then, we both wanted the same thing: to do the best we possibly could. Now, at the end of the line, I think it’s safe to say we did it. I’m going to miss sharing the journey with you, but perhaps it doesn’t end here.

Now, a toast to the new senior leaders of Cardinal Points: Maggie and Winta. Maggie, I’m going to miss hearing your laugh every day. We’ve been working news for two years, and there’s no one else I’d rather have shared it with. I’m glad we became such close friends, and I owe you more than I can repay.

And Winta: one of the easiest and nicest people to talk to. Thanks for putting up with my endless questions about Swedish culture. You both will kill it next year, and I can’t wait to see it. And that doesn’t go without wishing the best of luck to Tom, Bailey, Lisa, Griffin, Jess, Reggianie and Nick as well.

Lastly, here’s a little bit of advice for you, dear reader: No matter how old you are, or wherever you may be, it’s never too late to find your passion. Find something that will excite you every day until you die. Find that thing you can’t see yourself living without. And, most importantly, find people to share it with — they’re the reasons why it’s worth it.

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<a href="https://cardinalpointsonline.com/byline/brian-molongoski/" rel="tag">Brian Molongoski</a>