Midnight in a Perfect Print Shop

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(Hunter Benegas / The Fordham Ram)

Kieran Press-Reynolds, Culture Editor

Like most people, I had a difficult time adapting to college life. I envisioned college in New York City as a chaotic wonderland of scrumptious food and artsy parties. I thought I was going to experience it all instantly at Lincoln Center. In reality, I made few friends and spent most of my time either toiling away at the running store I worked at or wandering the city aimlessly. I became convinced that I made the wrong decision coming to New York. I missed my friends and family in California, and I had never felt so alone. 

Then one day at work, I met a student from Rose Hill. He had come to buy new running shorts. I noticed he was wearing a Fordham Track & Field backpack, so I asked him about the team, because I had thought about walking on before I committed to Lincoln Center. At the end of our conversation, we exchanged numbers and made a plan to run together. A few months later, he texted me out of the blue. He said he was looking for a roommate and asked if I wanted to live with him and someone else in his Bronx apartment. I thought about it. I knew that if I accepted, then everything from that point on would be miraculous. The only reason I met him was because my boss assigned me to work that specific shift and because I was walking around that specific section of the store when he came. If I were in the bathroom or in the back of the store sorting shoes, I wouldn’t have met him. Is fate real? I said yes.

So I transferred to Rose Hill. I knew this was a chance to start over. At the club fair, I cautiously hobbled over to the Ram booth. I was really nervous, but the editor-in-chief at the time, Theresa Schliep, FCRH ’19, encouraged me to join after I told her about my interest in music. I wrote my name down. I felt insecure about my writing abilities because I had never written for a newspaper before (my high school paper had rejected me). 

Fast forward a few days, and I wrote my first article: a review of Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman.” I spent hours researching the film and penning draft after draft, determined to create the best impression I could. When I finished, and the editors told me they loved my piece, I felt a sense of elation I had rarely ever felt before. The thought of other people taking my work seriously and enjoying it made me blush — and it still makes me blush now.

What I’m going to miss about the Ram is not just how it’s turned me into a semi-coherent writer or taught me a lot about grammar — I’m mostly going to miss the atmosphere and the people. I doubt many college newsrooms are like ours. We’re dedicated to the craft, yes, but we also spare time to rack up leaderboard scores on Oregon Trail and play games of life-size chess. We stay up until 3 a.m. (or 4 a.m., on that very first night that feels like eons ago) telling jokes, making elaborate TikToks and racing each other on swivel chairs. We make memes (and almost put them in the paper) and sing songs at the top of our lungs. And then the next day, we pick up a copy of our beautiful newspaper and gaze at the fine work we did. I’ve never been in a space as simultaneously focused and haywire as the Ram, and I might never be in one like it again. It’s truly a perfect balance of professionalism and juvenile fun. 

I want to say thank you to everyone at the Ram for making my experience amazing. And a special thanks to Rachel, my TikTok partner and Scrabble competitor, for always being so thoughtful, funny and supportive. Looking back now, I think I made the right choice coming to Fordham (and Rose Hill), if for no other reason than the fact that I got to write and edit for the Ram.

P.S. Funnily enough, when I first applied to be culture editor for Volume 101, my application went into the Ram’s spam folder. If I hadn’t sent a follow-up email the day before the positions were announced, I wouldn’t be here writing this. So PSA, if you’re ever unsure if someone received your email, send a follow-up!