As I open another word document, my eyes take a little longer than normal to adjust to the brightness and white page displaying from the computer screen in front of me. Although blank, the document already has a label: My Senior column.
In reality, I’ve known for the past three years what it would be about. In fact, I knew before I even became a part of The Setonian to begin with.
It’s the thing that I’ve been reminded about every time I’ve commuted to and from campus, had an on-campus encounter with a familiar face and, every time I began a new assignment. It’s the moment that impacted me most during my college journey and furthermore, my life.
In February of 2014, a sophomore at the time, my college experience was put on pause. After suffering from gradual vision loss and extreme fatigue over the course of two months, I was hospitalized and diagnosed with a brain condition called Hydrocephalus.
As a 19-year-old, brain surgery was never part of my college plan. At this age, I thought the most I’d be dealing with was the anxiety I’ve had for years towards school and m a y b e having to manage an internship a l o n g w i t h classes. No matter how many times someone says it, you truly never think you’d be one of those people that hears the words ‘brain tumor’ in your lifetime. But, I did.
The thing was, just as fast as all of this seemed to have happened, it took half the time for it all to return back to normal, at least for the most part. I eventually returned to Seton Hall that spring semester, for the last two weeks – by far the shortest semester I’ve encountered. My professors, who were beyond gracious and understanding, helped me get my education back on track. For the next two years, my incredible parents would help me commute to and from campus, as my eyesight recovered.
From that semester on, as cliché as it may sound, everything else just seemed to fall into place.
I’ve been blessed to have had some incredible college experiences throughout my time as a student,
between internship opportunities to the crafting my passion of journalism under the guidance of a New York Times journalist.
More importantly, I found a creative outlet at the university in the form of The Setonian – a haven through which I’ve been able to share my personal journey as a Pirate.
So, as I approach my final weeks of my senior year, I have one thing left to say in this column: If you’re reading and wondering why I never said hi when I saw you on campus, now you know why.
Natalie Rebisz is a journalism major from Clifton, N.J. She can be reached at natalie.rebisz@student. shu.edu.