Max Samson/Editorial Artist

The first article I wrote for Pipe Dream prompted an entire response column from the conservative campus publication. When you Google my name, it comes up: “The Left’s Fetishization of Violence: A Response to Sarah Molano.” Apparently, that’s going to follow me for the rest of my life any time a prospective employer looks up my name, and that used to terrify me. But now, I think I’m OK with that.

Growing up, I never wanted to be known as the annoying, angry activist girl that shitty shows like “South Park” make fun of. I wanted to be the chill girl that everyone, or at least everyone I deemed worthy, liked. But that’s the thing about becoming a political organizer — you never look for the fight; the fight comes to you. Nobody wants to be constantly marching and yelling; nobody wants to always be angry. The thing about fighting against injustice is that you’re forced into that position; someone else decided the rules of the game, and rigged it against you, and now it’s up to you to do something about it.

I like to think I’m doing something about it. When I came to Binghamton University and experienced instance after instance of blatant racism, and the inaction from the University that followed, the fight came to me. While I always get a kick out of protesting out in the streets, I was craving a platform where I could get my opinions out to more people than just the immediate passersby at a demonstration. Pipe Dream granted me that opportunity.

If you’ve followed my columns at all, you probably know where I stand on a multitude of topics, and I won’t spend time recapping all my views. Put simply, it mostly comes down to centering and fighting for the most marginalized people, and doing that by any means necessary. Being on Pipe Dream has pushed me to unapologetically express my opinions after I spent so many years of my life treading lightly and trying to avoid conflict with people I disagree with. Special shoutout to Aaron Bondar for indirectly starting my columnist career by writing an article that I simply had to write a response to. It sounds ridiculous, and sort of backhanded (sorry Aaron, you’re a good sport), but that’s really how it all began.

Pipe Dream completely changed the trajectory of my college career. It made me realize that I actually hate biology and chemistry and that I should switch to an English major. It allowed me to turn my passion for political activism into something I can make a career out of, or so I hope. I would love to recap all the amazing moments I had throughout these four years in college, but it only seems fitting to focus on Pipe Dream as it was so incredibly integral to my development as a person.

Thank you to Emily, Bridget and Shauna for pulling me right in and making Pipe Dream really feel like a family to me. As soon as I joined as a little baby copy editor, I immediately wanted to be a part of the Pipe Dream family, and the three of you are what made that happen. I can’t imagine what my college career would’ve been without you. I love you forever.

Thank you to Max, Cory and Khaled for always providing a breath of fresh air when I needed a break from production.

Thank you to Lia, Val and Evan for making our little corner bearable during production. I know the future of Pipe Dream is in good hands with the three of you.

Thank you to Megha for being the best roommate I could’ve ever imagined. We put up with some wild stuff freshman year, and we somehow made it out four years later, still living together. I can’t wait to see all the big things you do.

Thank you to Hanna and Natalie for putting up with me losing my keys and texting the group chat so someone could open the door for me. It’s weird to think we’ve lived together for so long, and even weirder to think that we won’t anymore.

Thank you to Steven, John, James and Hayden for being the best guys I could’ve imagined to stick by my side all this time. And thank you Colin for getting in the mix more recently and for always bringing me coffee when I’m in need. I’ll miss the Smash, the jams and the bad movie nights, and I expect you to visit me in the city so we can thrift shop and eat vegan mac and cheese at least once a year.

Thank you to Frances Beal Society for showing me what it means to be an organizer and what radical love looks like. You all shaped my politics more than you know, and I couldn’t be more thankful. I’ll miss shaking shit up with you all.

Finally, thank you to Pipe Dream for allowing me to be the angry, annoying activist girl I was always meant to be. I hope there are people out there who genuinely gained a new perspective from all the columns I’ve written. I wish next year’s staff all the best — not that they’ll really need it, because I know they’ll kill it regardless. Thank you to PRISM, especially Tykeem, Daquan, Cory and Joel, for giving an outlet to students of color and letting me be a part of it. Thank you, readers, for sticking with me through it all.

Sarah Molano is a senior majoring in English. She is the opinions editor and the PRISM editor. She was the copy desk chief in fall of 2018 and assistant copy desk chief in spring of 2018.