I once had an English professor who told my class how, as an annual tradition, he taught Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” to all his freshman students.
In doing so, he hoped to provide an alternate interpretation to the one most often held by readers. The speaker’s choice of road – the iconic one less traveled – was not better for being less so, he said, nor was it the “right” one. The speaker’s choice was simply a decision: one of two before him and one that evidently proved worthwhile.
We all face a great many choices in life. With such a diversity of options comes a great deal of anxiety, of fear that we might, in fact, choose incorrectly.
I signed up as a copy editor for The Fordham Ram during my freshman year at Rose Hill as one of several different attempts to thrust myself into collegiate life. My love for words and finding the most beautiful ways to string them together convinced me that helping others’ work become the best it could be would prove a fulfilling way to pass my time at Fordham.
Becoming a copy chief of Volume 100 alongside my partner-in-AP Style Colette Nolan, FCRH ’20, further solidified my investment in the publication as one that deeply mattered to me. I found, at that copy table, something extremely meaningful to give my energy to each week.
I cannot stress enough how important it is for individuals to create and maintain this sort of positive feedback loop in their lives, whatever this outlet or hobby might look like.
The more I worked at that copy table, the more I learned about the journalistic process; the more I understood this process, the more I came to appreciate it; the more I appreciated the work I was doing, the more of it I found myself wanting and needing to do.
The move to Editorial Director for Volume 101 shoved me out of a comfort zone I had in one sense developed quite quickly during my time on staff and in another had harbored for a large portion of my life.
Writing with frequency on topics that matter and from a position that people look to as a trusted source has been no simple task. The role has pushed me in certain ways and pulled me in others, unarguably shaping the person I am today and continuing to impact the person I will be tomorrow.
Providing the Ram with a voice has, in many ways, guided me in finding my own.
There is significant irony in the fact that contributing to a collective can often be an extremely personal experience. It is easy to underestimate how intimately such work can shape its doer, how giving parts of yourself allows you to receive a notable amount of others. I consider myself lucky that my time with the Ram has been a regular reminder of such valuable lessons.
To experience the publication at its transitional phase – to have a hand in defining what it will look like in its next century of life – has been at once an immense honor and a bumpy adventure.
If participating in the Ram tears your intellectual, professional and emotional muscle tissue, the people you do it with continually teach you how to fill these gaps with stronger fibers.
The talent, hard work and drive of every person involved in the creation of this paper each week never fail to impress me. The appreciation I have for all of these individuals who have helped me to be better – the people I want to be better for – is something that will never falter, even if our roads take us far from one another.
To those on Volume 100, thank you for giving me the courage to grow and for being exemplary models of who I could aspire to be. Thank you for accepting me into the wonderful world of unadulterated student belonging.
To those on Volume 101, thank you for your endless patience and your enormous trust. Thank you for your unwavering belief in my ability to communicate our collective message.
To the future Volume 102 and all those to come after, I look forward to seeing where you take the Ram in its next era of life. Continue to shed light on the things that matter and continue to pave roads not yet taken.
When I found myself at an endless tangle of crossroads freshman year, I felt intimidated and overwhelmed, but nonetheless hopeful. Each road looked different; each future looked full of possibility.
I am endlessly grateful that the Ram was a path I decided to take during my time at Fordham.
If I feel at all comfortable, though, to make authoritative statements on the ridiculously subjective question mark that is life (which is to say simply that I do not), this confidence would come from the conviction that no road is inherently a bad one.
My best advice is to just pick. Get in the car, make your decisions one at a time and have a go-to road trip game just in case you hit traffic.
I find myself constantly reminded of my love for this publication and for the people that have made my experience with it so extraordinary.
You have each proved an invaluable travel companion, and you have made all the difference.