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E-Board column: Maybe it is fate

“Everything happens for a reason.”

“You were born for this.”

“It was meant to be.”

All my life, I’ve been told such similar statements. Sometimes, they speak of religion – “This was God’s plan,” – and sometimes they speak of astrology and the stars aligning. Believe me, I’ve heard it all.

It picked up once I became editor-in-chief of the Setonian, especially due to the fact that 2024 marks 100 years since the first print copy was distributed. Truly, a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and experience that I’m so incredibly grateful to be a part of.

But I’ve never been someone who believes in fate, of higher powers or external forces and wonders influencing my every thought. Sure, I’m a pisces, and sure, I share a lot of similarities to that astrological sign, but it doesn’t really mean anything to me.

I credit my achievements to my hard work and persistence, regardless of fate. I started writing for the Setonian from day one, from my first semester at Seton Hall in August of 2020. I remember insistently nagging at its editor-in-chief at the time, Nicholas Kerr, throughout that summer to send me the application to join. The paper had moved fully remote at that point because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but that never dissuaded me from doing what I love: local reporting.

There are so many people in my life I want to thank for all the help and advice they’ve given me – my family, my friends, my professors and the 100th editorial board: Serena Davis, Thomas Donnelly, Dareen Abukwaik, Peyton Hruska, Morgan Frye, Maria Levandoski, Angelina Paoline, Matthew Soetebeer, Esmeralda Arias, Rachel Suazo, Kimberly Fallas, Emmett Bikales and Christopher Bentíez Cuartas.

The Setonian has practically been my entire life for the past four years. It’s been the only student organization I’ve devoted my free time to. I've poured my blood, sweat and tears into this paper. It means everything to me, including those I’ve worked alongside with.

However, when I became editor-in-chief, I learned something about the paper that made all those aforementioned statements ring a different tune in my mind.

My birthday may not be the most common of them all, but in my life it is. I share it with one of my cousins. I share it with the Setonian’s advisor, Bruce “B.J.” Schecter, the executive director for Seton Hall’s Center for Sports Media. Three other girls in my high school graduating class also have the same one as me – including one of their fathers.

But I had no idea that I also shared a birthday with the Setonian – March 19.

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Maybe it was meant to be.

Emma Thumann is the Setonian’s 100th editor-in-chief and a writer for its News section. She can be reached at


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