All good things must come to an end. For the past three years this community has welcomed me with open arms. Thank you for that. Whether it was at a Board of Education meeting, school function, one of the many packed P&Z hearings, or just an interview for a feature/news story, the people of Shelton embraced me and I am forever grateful. I remember my first day on the job, spilling my lunch all over my shirt, driving through the city aimlessly and being introduced to many of you for the first time. From that day until now I have subconsciously compared this community to where I grew up in New Haven. It’s different in so many ways. I’ve grown to admire the pride people take in this city, their sports, academics and overall reputation. I love the amount of energy and time that parents here spend with their children, ensuring that their education is top notch and they are safe at all times. Although, these are things that are common in many communities, “the Shelton way” has a special feeling to me. I’ve worked with two superintendents, covered three graduations and have reported on two mayoral races. Although the city’s mayor has been the same for nearly 28 years, I have had the opportunity to see the city transform in my short time here. From the life that’s being refueled into the downtown area via new developments and community events, to the district’s effort to combat the ongoing opioid epidemic through the creation of a community coalition, much has changed. I couldn’t ever forget the experiences I’ve shared with two community members who passed away, former P&Z member Frank Osak and former Superintendent Tim Walsh. Both men, who were completely invested into the city of Shelton, inspired me to live life to the fullest and become a better person. During my three years here, it feels crazy writing that it’s actually been that long, I have learned a lot. This being my first “real job” out of college was an eye opening experience to say the least. To all of those students that just graduated high school and are preparing for the next step in their journey, be optimistic and open minded. To the students that just graduated college and that may not have secured a job at this time, keep your head up and stay positive. But at the same time, don’t sit around and wait for opportunities, create them. There’s a million ways that I could describe my time covering Shelton, but I choose to describe it as “fulfilling.” The challenge of being thrown into a community that you’ve barely been exposed to can be a challenge, but I lucked out and was placed with all of you “Shelton-ians.” One of the only things that I will not miss about this city, is the terrible 5 p.m. traffic on Bridgeport Avenue. We can only hope that Shelter Ridge can’t make it much worse, right? The next step in my journey will be covering the neighboring town of Easton for the Easton Courier. Thank you for everything. — A.B.