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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

People talk, don’t let the things they say define you

Contributed by Cat Murphy

I’m not a social butterfly. I’ve never been a genius. And I’m definitely not a gifted athlete.

That’s not to say I don’t have friends, or that I’m dumber than a box of rocks, or that I have an irrational fear of sports.

I do have friends. I’d like to think I’m smarter than at least most boxes of rocks. And photos obtained by The Chronicle indicate that I was a mediocre hockey player for several years.

But prior to college, I was a relatively average kid from suburban Connecticut — I didn’t really raise eyebrows one way or another.

And while I definitely didn’t stand out, I also didn’t really fit in.

That certainly wasn’t for lack of trying, though. Up until I graduated from high school, I was usually trying way too hard.

To be less talkative. To be quieter. To be thinner. To be less awkward. To be funnier. To be less hyper. To be somebody I simply wasn’t — all in the vain hope that maybe people would like that version of Cat Murphy better.

Because it always seemed like, for most people, I was just a little too loud, a little too chaotic, a little too “much.”

And then I came to Quinnipiac, terrified I would never find my crowd. I was wrong. I found that crowd pretty quickly in The Chronicle, where chaos was just called “Tuesday.”

Inside the media suite, nobody expected me to be anyone but myself.

So, for the first time, I could be Cat Murphy — the real one.

I wrote and wrote and wrote. I covered parking, COVID, construction — and anything else then-News Editor Katie Langley would let me write about.

In retrospect, I really didn’t have any idea what the hell I was doing. I just knew I enjoyed doing it.

But as I got a little more confident in my reporting, my reporting got a little more serious. I took on bigger stories, tackled bigger issues.

It was this reporting that began to gain traction among the university’s senior administrators. I’ll put it this way: It didn’t make me their favorite student.

But I’m 20. And that’s a lot to put on a 20-year-old.

So, I won’t tell you it’s been easy. It hasn’t.

There have been times when I’ve taken all of the negative comments to heart. Times the only person I saw in the mirror was an impostor. Times when quitting would have been the easiest path forward.

In those moments, I would revert back to old habits. I would hide behind a smile, neglecting my physical and mental health as I tried desperately to be someone else.

But between Chronicle and the journalism faculty, nobody let me lose myself in the mix.

They rightly believe I’m a 5-foot-4-inch three-ring circus — and they love me not in spite of it, but because of it.

They’ve supported me, taught me, backed me up and urged me to be better, but never once did anyone try to force me to be someone I wasn’t.

So, I kept being myself. I kept digging, even when I was terrified of the pushback. I kept writing, even when people tried to stop me.

Because the friends I’ve made here never wanted me to be anyone but the real Cat Murphy — the one who will fight to publish, come hell or high water.

There are far too many people to thank, but a few people in particular bore the brunt of my nonsense:

Katie, whose days were never boring if they involved me. She taught me how to be a better reporter, a better writer and a better editor. Katie wasn’t just my mentor, though — she was like the older sister I never had.

Former Editor-in-Chief Melina Khan, who gave me the confidence to try out Chronicle. I’ll never stop looking up to you.

Washed Sports Editor Cameron Levasseur, who always let me drag him along for the ride. Be it reporting from the White House or combing through data in a study room, there’s no other reporter I’d rather have by my side. You’re one of the kindest people I’ve ever known, and I can’t wait to tell people I knew you when.

Washed Managing Editor Ben Yeargin, who I’ve known since I was 12. You are the most thorough person I’ve ever met, and eight years later, you’re still the only person allowed to call me by my full name.

Editor-in-Chief Alexandra Martináková, who made me a better mentor and a better leader. I’ll be cheering you on long after I graduate, kid.

A special thank you to the professors who took me under their wing and helped me become the journalist and person I am today. To Nick Pietruszkiewicz, who I know would have an aneurysm if he had to deal with me for two more semesters. To Molly Yanity, who pushed me to places I didn’t know I could go. To Margarita Díaz, who always called me on my bullshit. To Ben Bogardus, whose office door was always open when I needed to talk it out.

And a big hug to dad, who would kill me if I didn’t thank him for always being there.

I wouldn’t be where I am — and I wouldn’t be going where I’m going — if you all hadn’t been behind me 100% of the time.

So, yeah, I’m not a social butterfly, or a genius, or a gifted athlete.

The truth is: I’m loud. I’m chaotic. I’m kind of awkward. And I never stop talking.

But the people who matter are OK with that. And people who don’t matter — well, they don’t really matter much, do they?

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Cat Murphy
Cat Murphy, News Editor

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    RichardApr 27, 2024 at 12:09 am

    I wanted to thank you for your reporting of the Quinnipiac Physician Assistant program. I am a family member of one of the students that contacted the Department of Justice, and we all appreciate your investigative journalism and fearless dedication to bringing serious issues to light. QU has done their best to hide all of this for years and they will now be held accountable for their discriminatory practices. Your parents should be very proud of you, and I hope you know that you have made a difference!