Four Times I Wanted To Leave The Fordham Ram


And the one time I didn’t.

I don’t want to leave now. I wasn’t supposed to, and I sure didn’t expect to be writing my goodbye this week. I may have been graduating a semester early, but I was still going to be graduating with the class of 2023. I knew that I still had at least a semester to stay on the newspaper. 

Well, like most mice and men, I laid some excellent plans. Unfortunately, those tend to go awry. 

When I realized I’d be graduating, my first thought was how I was going to tell the current e-board. After all of that worrying about the inconvenience of replacing me if I just up and quit the paper, I was leaving a full semester early. My second thought was: Wow, how am I going to stand leaving early?

This will be the 40th article with my name on it for The Fordham Ram. If you count the editorials I’ve written, it’ll be an even 50. Which, all things considered, is a pretty pleasant number to end things on. That’s 50 articles that reflect my time on the Ram since 2019: as a contributing writer for the USG column in Volume 101, an assistant news editor of Volume 102, features editor of Volume 103 and now editorial director for Volume 104.

The Fordham Ram has been the defining factor of my time at Fordham. I think some of my most enduring memories of this beautiful campus are going to feature that dank and grody basement. B-52. The loveshack.

That’s why it may come as a surprise that I’ve had many moments on the Ram where I’ve seriously considered just leaving.

One: The first time I walked into B-52 my freshman year. I was never involved with my high school newspaper, and had minimal interest in journalism. Having signed up at the club fair, I arrived in the basement hoping to copy-edit, weakly-armed with previous experience proofreading and a basic knowledge of English grammar. What greeted me was an extremely enthusiastic group of upperclassmen that all knew each other, with what felt to me like an endless parade of names, references and inside jokes I could never hope to understand. 

I wanted very badly to turn right back around and go to my quiet dorm room, which I had grown at least marginally familiar with by that point. I could never have imagined that I would continue to sit at that copy table for weeks after, still not having a clue what everybody was talking about, but happy to be there all the same.

Two: Writing my first “serious” news article, which was about the partnership between PVH Corp. and the Gabelli School of Business. I had a difficult time getting any information from PVH Corp. itself, despite sending a truly embarrassing amount of emails to any email address and public relations representative I could find online. 

In the end, it just didn’t feel like the article it should have been. Writing for the USG column had been hard enough — now I was completely out of my depth as an assistant news editor. I didn’t even want to go into journalism! But I stayed on for a few more weeks, and by the time the pandemic forced us to go online, quitting seemed just a little rude.

Three: I tend to have to tell myself that as much as I love The Fordham Ram, it’s a college newspaper. It’s not to be dismissive; it’s to remind myself that as important as keeping up with my obligations to the paper is, no one is going to pull a contract out on me if I can’t.

Because, yeah, I’ve not had a perfect track record here. Sometimes, articles just haven’t come together. I haven’t been able to get a source, or by the time I did get one, the article failed to be timely and relevant. I’ve completely let the week get away from me. Sometimes, I’ve spent the entire week thinking about that article I’m supposed to write, and not been able to write it anyway.

Each time, I struggle to admit it. What we do here may not be life-and-death, but messing up can mean throwing a night’s schedule completely out of whack, or ruining the format of the printed paper. It’s tempting to avoid, deny, ignore and simply never show up to the basement again.

This year, I didn’t send one of our weekly briefing emails. By the time I drafted it, it was too late to send it out, and too difficult to come up with a story compelling enough to excuse this. Here it was, the confirmation that I was letting the entire Ram down by failing to send a weekly email. This was the irreversible mistake, the one I couldn’t come back from. I’d have to resign, block off all communications and change the routes I took to class just to escape the horrific shame of not having sent out our weekly briefing.

I didn’t do any of that, obviously. Mostly because hoping no one noticed it wasn’t sent out was significantly easier than getting out in front of what I was beginning to mentally refer to as “emailgate.” 

And yeah, people obviously noticed that it wasn’t sent out, but no one jumped up to beat me to death with baseball bats. It’s a college newspaper. Even at The New York Times, they stop before they put you in the hospital.

I remained on the Ram. The briefing got sent out the next week. Life went on.

Four: A night where I said something stupid. Really stupid. Because sometimes the most impactful part of the Ram isn’t the paper, but the people. 

As strange as it is to say, I probably am the loud upperclassman who seems to be in on all the jokes now. And the more we teeter towards midnight in the loveshack, the easier it is to be louder than I should, or make the wrong joke that lands completely flat, or to say something just plain stupid and embarassing. Every time it happens, I’d like to quit right there, and never acknowledge it again. It’s difficult in many ways to sit with that, especially when you know you’ll be seeing these people every week, for the rest of the year. But you can’t run away to save face, either, because sometimes looking stupid is what brings people closer together.

That’s why, despite the risk of sounding ineloquent, I’d like to thank some of the many, many reasons I’ve stuck with this paper.

I would like to thank Dylan, Andrew, Helen and Rachel for making Volumes 102 and 103 so great to be on. Dylan again, for causing the urge to say “goodbye, everyone, goodbye!” every time we leave the basement.

Sarah and Abbey, for being the best news editors I have ever had the pleasure of working under. Isabel, for being the best news editor I have never had the pleasure of working under.

The current editorial board, Ava, Hanif and Michael, for not beating me to death with baseball bats. Despite all the mayhem present in a volume of the Ram, every week a paper comes out, and I walk out thinking how cool it is that I end the night with you guys.

Everyone at the copy table, past and present, for being the emotional center of the basement and letting my stupid alliterative titles through. Erica, Vanessa, Ginny, Maggie and Megan, thank you for being the slightest bit intimidating, and a much greater bit welcoming.

The entire staff of Volume 104, who I am leaving prematurely. You are all so incredibly smart, funny and cool, all while managing to make the paper possible. It’s not leaving the basement that’s hard. It’s leaving all the great people down there.