Thanksgiving break is a roughly one week period prior to finals week where students head home to enjoy some home-cooked meals and wind down before a dreadful couple of weeks of finals.
We rest, recover, and rejuvenate our bodies with food that is not sold on campus or the adjacent food places so that we can come back energized and ready to take our exams head-on.
Future KCR College Radio Hall of Famer and host of both her self-titled radio show and a satirical news web series “Here We Go Again,” Julie Cappiello started her final few weeks as an undergrad on a rough note. Monday evening on her flight back from her hometown of Lyndhurst, New Jersey trouble arose as they were rerouted to land in LAX as opposed to her initial destination of San Diego, California.
This reroute came after spending two-plus hours on the runway before takeoff, and also having to ride a shuttle from Los Angeles back down to San Diego. To top it off, Cappiello arrived back at four AM on Tuesday, just 13 hours before her final radio show and 15 hours before her final taping of “Here We Go Again.”
What a way to start the beginning of the end, right? Well, luckily for Cappiello this was all a mere speed bump on the road to success. She has 4 finals standing between her and the Harry Styles Fine Line Live: One Night Only concert on December 13. Cappiello is a self-proclaimed Styles Stan and this is her graduation gift to herself. She will be finished with her school career at SDSU by the time Harry hits the stage; she too will be hitting the stage soon, walking with her fellow December graduates along with the spring graduates in May 2020.
Wait, we are at the end of the road already? *Cue Boyz II Men* Before we look too far into the future, let’s take a look at Julie’s journey from Jersey to sunny San Diego.
She only applied to four colleges in high school, three of them being in her home state of New Jersey and the final being the home of the Aztecs. She found SDSU because The College Board told her it was a literal perfect fit. Now she had long joked with her parents about the thought of moving to this corner of the country, yet she never knew things would work out the way they did.
On The College Board’s website, she input her requirements and let the search run nationwide. Away from home? Check. Solid Journalism program? Check. Can I have a car? Check. Everything else? CHECK!
She told her parents that she really felt like attending SDSU and though it seemed like a distant dream, she applied anyway. Her high school guidance counselor discouraged her a bit by alerting her that State rarely accepts out of state students, which is a bogus statement, but that did not stop her. She took time out of school just to make sure her application was as respectable and illuminating as her personality.
Then, one day in mid-late December 2015, everything changed. She received the acceptance letter she had long-since hoped for and, “I remember opening it and screaming!” An acceptance letter is not the end all be all in the college world, but her intuition showed her this was not just a dream, but reality.
“I had this gut feeling when I applied and I had this gut feeling when I got the acceptance email, I’m going there.” She walked into her parents’ room where she and her mother looked at each other in the eyes in agreement, “I’m going there.”
When it came time to visit her future university, Cappiello recalls her flight touching the ground at midnight. With her parents accompanying her, she saw her first palm tree and knew she was home.
The transition from hometown Jersey girl to living 2,760 away from home in a completely new environment did not start off on the best foot. “I felt a bit foreign,” she says as she details the hostile living situation within University Tower. On top of being immaturely bullied by her roommates, she also felt physically ill. So much that her asthma condition that she had long since gotten over, came back to the forefront of her health problems. That’s a note to all of the incoming freshmen of the future, try to live in the new dorms.
That one year was not all bad, just mostly. She and her mom both wondered upon the start of year two at SDSU, “I don’t know how I made it through.” Her parents kindly urged her to come back home but she refused. Both because of pride and because of that same gut feeling that got her here in the first place.
So when does this dynamic person finally feel like she belongs within the confines of the university? Just like her acceptance date and the times at UT when she felt at her worst, the turning point came in the Winter.
This time it was the Winter of 2017. As a writer for The Daily Aztec, the organization came up with an opportunity to collaborate with KCR College Radio in an effort to do a joint news show. “I thought about it, and I always wanted to do radio, but at my high school we only had a newspaper.”
She called her mother, who she lovingly speaks to various times throughout each and every day, and told her that she had another gut feeling about this opportunity. Her mom replied, “Every time I think I’m getting you back, San Diego reels you back in.” This was both a truthful and loving statement as she knows Julie knows what is best for her.
The collaboration between the two student organizations did not fare so well, but within the experience, she befriended former KCR News Director Natalie Bucher and the two hit it off. Bucher was soon to move up the management totem pole and told Cappiello that she should apply for the position of News Director, however, there was also an editor position opening up at The Daily Aztec. She had a tough decision to make and she chose to take a shot at the position for the school paper; unfortunately, she did not receive the job.
Everything happens for a reason though, and despite choosing to go after the other position, she was still very much interested in becoming KCR’s next News Director. This was all in the Spring of 2017 where she went through some troubled times. Her Godfather passed away on her birthday and she did not get an internship on “The Tonight Show” that she greatly desired. Within the storm of her troubles at the time, she found comfort in Bucher and other members of KCR while also earning the position of News Director.
After heading home for the summer and having an out-of-body experience where she watched herself while getting her wisdom teeth removed, Cappiello came back to Southern California and got herself two new jobs. The self-reflective newly Interdisciplinary Studies major took a look in the mirror and saw that her life is exactly where it needed to be.
“I just felt so in my power. Nothing can stop me. I’m very content. I’m very happy with my life.”
She reflects on her hellish first year as an Aztec saying, “Two years ago, freshman year, I never thought that I would be here.” she continues, “I didn’t think that anything like this would happen.
Cappiello currently works in the legal world at a company she ironically cannot legally disclose. In March of this year during the interview for said position, she and the interviewer were both wearing the same pair of shoes. Not just that, they were both from New Jersey. She ran away with the interview and an hour and a half later she received an official job offer.
“There was something weird about that day. I got up, and I looked on social media and one of my favorite shows had just announced that this season would be their final season.” That show is “Supernatural” on The CW, and she loves it like I love “Entourage,” with a passion. So much that she would leave high school functions just to go home and watch. She and her friends joked during high school that in order for her to survive the halls of hell she needed this show to get her through. Naturally, it has been a staple in her life throughout her tenure here in San Diego and it can’t be made up that as she’s finishing her final days here the program is also going on its victory tour before bidding fans adieu in Spring 2020.
Her favorite show coming to an end on top of finishing her final courses as an undergrad as well as accepting a wonderful job that will lead to a solid career means she is becoming a full-fledged adult. That did not hit until December 4 when her supervisor told her, “You have to get a California’s drivers license now.” Something so simple as an ID can speak volumes about one’s life-shifting into the next gear. What hits the hardest for Cappiello is not being able to keep in touch with her dogs the way she does with her family. She often speaks to both of her sisters and, “My mom and I speak seven times a day.” However not being able to call and connect with the pups, in the same way, makes things a bit difficult at times. With that being said, Ms. Julie Cappiello is definitely on the right path to the future.
Now, before we here at KCR say our final goodbyes to our esteemed colleague, let’s recognize a couple of her projects that have cemented her legacy within the organization.
Her newest work that she began in the Spring of this year is right here on this website, Sexcapades.
Sexcapades is a sexually open and reflective series where she discusses everything in and around sex with no shame in an effort to allow others to feel that same comfort to have much-needed discussions. I especially like her newest piece titled, “TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT / WHAT YOU REALLY, REALLY WANT.” where she advocates for open communication about sex.
This series was created because of the lack of education provided in her high school sex education class where abstinence was the curriculum and no talk of safe sex left the mouths of her instructor. Self-taught and informed by her mother, Cappiello has had conversations with her family and aims to make Sexcapades a more inclusive and informative series where members of the LGBTQ+ community can also come for guidance and advice. She even wrote a piece on her sister Justine who is a member of the LGBTQ+ community that is a must-read.
Before Sexcapades, was her “baby,” her passion project, “Here We Go Again.” The satirical news program has been running 3 seasons strong and was almost not greenlit, but the trust management had in Cappiello paid off as we can see now. Taking a concept from one of her other favorite shows, “The Daily Show,” Cappiello aimed to translate the ethos to Aztecs and college students across the nation. She has had a lot of success within those three seasons along with those growing pains.
This past season Chantel Mesta and Emilio Tina joined as writers and lifted both the show and Julie to new heights. Busy with graduation, her final classes, work, and having a social life, Cappiello pushed through and created some of her best work with one of her best teams. The final taping was bittersweet for her as things are finally coming to a close, but she has a lot to be proud of.
“I’m leaving it in good hands. I hope that they continue it, and if not it’ll just be like my little stamp. That is Julie Cappiello, I did that.”
Julie once thought about transferring schools, but joining KCR led her to new opportunities and a new family. She remains friends with members who have since graduated, maintaining Snapchat streaks and bi-weekly convos. Natalie Bucher even gave her the greatest gift she could ever ask for. “She said f*ck on the air and we couldn’t find the dump button.” The two had always thought the other would be the first to drop a bomb on-air, so Natalie doing so first brought an immeasurable amount of joy to Julie, tying the bow on the gift that KCR has been in her life.
“It feels weird, now it’s becoming a little bit more real. I’m not scared.” she finishes off by saying something her chiropractor told her, “You might enjoy your professional life more than you enjoyed your student life.” If that’s the case, she has a bright path in her sight. She is not worried about controlling the future, she is taking it day by day and enjoying the journey.
This won’t be the last time we hear of Julie Cappiello, that’s for sure.