I’m going to miss to ‘The College of Dreams’


Alison Pfaff (Asst. Photo Editor)

News Editor Vandy Manyeh

Vandy Manyeh, News Editor

For two-and-a-half years, I’ve had to live thousands of miles away from my parents and friends.

After finding a new family here at College of DuPage (COD), I am about to say goodbye to a group of people I love.  

My COD journey has come to an end. This is the last piece I’m writing for the Courier Newspaper. Now, let me tell you how much it sucks.

As an international student from Liberia, I came to COD without any friends. Studying and doing assignments were the only things I did as a student during the first month of my COD journey. All I knew was the comfy couch in the library, and the best way to get to and from the cafeteria.

One day, I read an opinion piece in the Courier about raising the acceptable age to buy cigarettes from 18 to 21. On the other page was an in-house ad about vacancies. Rather than sleeping on that comfy couch in the library, I opened my computer and applied for multiple positions. I was later offered the reporter’s position, which meant helping editors with whatever they needed to complete a story. I was basically a “toddler” in the newsroom.

At the Courier, I met my first group of friends in the United States, and I was finally able to integrate myself into the American culture. From playing board games, driving to Whole Foods to grab fried ripe plantains (the only African meal Jeff Bezos knows about), and doing things like a normal college kid, sleeping on that comfy couch in the library during my leisure time on campus came to an end.

But there are some profound memories that show how serious it is to work for the Courier. On my first assignment, I had to cover the Buffalo Theater Ensemble (BTE) protest before a board of trustees meeting. After that, I sat in a meeting for five hours. On top of that, I had to take some pictures. That weekend, I had to complete my story and upload it to the Courier’s website after edits and necessary approvals. I also had to complete assignments on Blackboard with a 11:59 deadline. This summarizes the work I’ve done for approximately 70 issues of the Courier.

Over the past five semesters, I’ve come to appreciate the importance of diversity. “SSC 1220” is the epitome of diversity at COD. At the Courier, I’ve met friends who were eager to learn about my culture. I also learned fascinating things about other cultures. It has been a pleasure working with students from Jamaica, New Zealand, The Philippines and other countries.

I’ve learned how to work along with other people even when I didn’t agree with their perspective about editorial subjects. We butt heads at times, and the next day we will have lunch together.

More importantly, I’ve learned a lot from my adviser, James Fuller. He has been an unpaid English teacher and counselor. As an aspiring writer, I’ve learned how to write ledes, familiarized myself with the AP Style and improved my writing skills.

Finally, I’ll miss being at a school where everyone is interested in students’ success. “What are your plans?” is the brief question President Ann Rondeau will pose to you when she sees you in the hallway. I can’t recall how many times other administrators and members of the faculty asked me about my long-term goals and provided the necessary support for life after COD. I’ll miss learning from great teachers and the staff at the Learning Commons who helped me succeed in all my classes.

Overall, this college isn’t just a place with beautiful fountains and buildings. For me, it’s a place where I received a great education and formed lasting friendships.

Words are inadequate to say how much I’m going to miss  “The College of Dreams.”