Vienna waits for you


Daniel Passapera

Xavier Cullen became The Chronicle’s opinion editor in April 2021 after a stint as podcast producer.

Xavier Cullen, Former Opinion Editor

Childhood comes and goes in the blink of an eye. Just as quickly as we go through high school, we’re forced to pick a college, major and life journey before we know what the outside world will throw at us.

I always knew I wanted to be a journalism major, and Quinnipiac University was the best school for me, so those decisions were easy. That just left the third one to worry about: What would I do with my life once I graduate?

I’ve dealt with several bouts of imposter syndrome as I’ve realized there are dozens of students here that are better than me at what I do. I even live with some of them. While other people got fantastic internships or well-deserved accolades, I felt five steps behind.

Through all the job applications sent and rejection letters received, I thought I wouldn’t make it anywhere. I wanted the world, but that wasn’t feasible. Every kid dreams of achieving their perfect life — chasing the light at the end of the tunnel. Reality soon hits them all that they can’t do so in such a short time.

I still want the world. Badly. But I’ve learned to take a different approach.

I’m 20 years old. I forget how young I am sometimes, and my life isn’t solely defined by how these first few years go. Even if they were, I’d be in a good place. I’ve made inspiring connections, wrote great articles and learned a lot of valuable lessons at Quinnipiac. How can I feel incomplete?

In the words of Billy Joel, “Slow down, you crazy child / You’re so ambitious for a juvenile / But then if you’re so smart / Tell me why are you still so afraid?”

I listened to that song, “Vienna,” so many times this semester. It’s a reminder to myself that I shouldn’t be afraid of what’s to come. I’ve prepared myself for what lies ahead, so why should I try to rush myself? Doing so would burn me out and take away all my passion.

Instead of doing that, I’ll slow down and see the forest for the trees.

As I depart from The Chronicle, I’d like to thank all of the amazing people who have helped me along the way. Thank you to my amazing roommates — former Sports Editor Riley Millette, former Editor-in-Chief Michael Sicoli, Lachie Harvey, former Podcast Producer Brendan Samson and Noah Epstein. They’ve all been there to give me great advice and much-needed laughter.

Thank you to the friends who I have met at Quinnipiac. I never would have imagined myself as extroverted as I am today, and I owe it to your hospitality and kindness. 

Finally, thank you to my family. You gave me the confidence and wisdom I needed in my life to succeed. I would be nowhere without you. You are why I keep trying so hard every day. I love you all.

Peyton McKenzie