Mullen reflects on brief time at Castleton

I didn’t plan on writing something like this because I am the sports editor of this fine newspaper, and I wanted to stay in that arena and tell the stories of how this whole situation has impacted our student athletes and coaches.

But something hit me after reading the words of our editors Brendan Crowley and Caton Deuso. (I will be referring to them by the names Brendo and Crouton throughout whatever this is.) They wrote about leaving campus and reflecting on all of this crap that we are going to have to deal with.

Left to right, Jay Mullen, Caton Deuso, Brendan Crowley. Posing for a picture outside of the art annex. Photo curtesy of Martin VanBuren III

I’m a senior who should be walking at my graduation at the end of this semester. I transferred in last year and didn’t think I would meet all of the people who morphed me into the person that I am today.

I had Community Advisors Max Tempel, Rebecca Santamore, KC Ambrose and Emily Cromie welcome me to Castleton with open arms.

The number of nights I spent in Babcock’s CA office my first year with those guys joking around, singing songs and playing guitar, scaring each other or just doing ridiculous things are in the hundreds.

I wouldn’t trade those nights for anything.

I met friends like Beth Kavet, Meranda Allen, Ameer AlKassir, Pat Lucey, Jeremy Gardiner, Baylee Lawrence, Aliyah Edmonds, among others who have gone on to be members of the iconic group with the same name as our Snapchat group chat, “Babcock Fam.”

Bottom left to right, Max Tempel and KC Ambrose. Middle left to right, Pat Lucey, Baylee Lawrence, Rebecca Santamore, David Malinowski, Emily Cromie. Top left to right, Jay Mullen, Aliyah Edmonds; posing for a picture after last year’s awards ceremony. Everyone in this photo is a member of the “Babcock Fam” referenced in the piece

I became a sports reporter for this newspaper and came out of my shell. I met lifelong friends like Brendo, Crouton and the rest of our amazing staff. And who could forget all of the amazing conversations with our newspaper advisor Dave Blow?

Over the summer, I became an SOS leader and met not only the amazing incoming students, but the rest of the amazing staff that I otherwise would not have met. You guys really represent the Castleton Way and made the summer a fun one.

This year, my final year, things were a bit different.

I became the Sports Editor for the Spartan.

I moved into the iconic North House 109 with Brendo, which changed my life.

I earned the highest GPA of my collegiate career.

I had a blast.

Then, all of this started happening, and up until this point I have been pretty numb to all of it.

I wasn’t really thinking about not returning to campus to see my family, (yes, I said family.)

I wasn’t thinking that my college experience, which really just started last year with me living away from home for the first time, was going to be ripped away from me.

I wasn’t thinking about all of the professors who left their mark on me during my brief time in their classrooms.

From left to right, Kendra Ross, Julie Leppo, Jay Mullen, Brendan Crowley, and Adam Mitchell pose for a photo together after the weekend-long SGA retreat at the Sagamore.

Then, one night last week as I was hanging out with my two brothers in the basement, my mom called me upstairs. I honestly thought I was in trouble for something; that feeling never goes away.

She told me that she was heartbroken for me.

She told me that we would have a ceremony in the backyard, and we would celebrate all that I accomplished at CU.

We shared a hug over a puddle of our tears.

I don’t want this to be entirely sad, because if you know me, you know that I try to be the positivity guy. I try to brighten people’s days and make people smile.

But with all of this going on, I’ve found it hard to get myself to smile.

I know that this isn’t a goodbye, but I can’t help but feel like it is, or at least could be. I remember yelling to people as they were leaving to stay safe, and I hope you all have been. I hope you all have been pushing through this and continuing to live your lives.

Because that is what we do, we’re Spartans.

I know that even though these dark times seem endless, I also know that there is light at the end of this deep, dark tunnel. I know that I will be able to see all of you on the other side of this.

I will be forever thankful and grateful for everyone and everything at Castleton. All of you have impacted me more than you will ever know. I love you, and will see you all soon.

For anyone who needs to hear it…I hear ya!


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