I think I have it best here at the A-T. I get to live my life behind the lens. I get to capture the moments that people might miss and the moments that people want to remember forever. I never thought that I would work for a campus newspaper. I thought I was crazy when I bought a $500 camera just to take photos for the campus newspaper. And I definitely never thought that I would work my way up to a role that is in charge of bringing the paper to life—photography.
I’m not going to lie. The first time I stepped foot in the newsroom, I felt an instance rush of nerves jolt through my body. Would they like me? Will I fit in? Is my work complete garbage? Do they even know my name? Next thing I know I’m sitting in a mom-van on the way to St. Louis with three people I didn’t even know on our way cover a women’s basketball game. That’s when I knew I was here to stay.
My job wasn’t easy. I gave up a lot of my time and canceled a lot of plans over the past few semesters just so the paper would have some pictures to put with their stories. The struggle to find committed photographers was real, my friends. But, I didn’t do it because I had to. I did it because I wanted to.
Now, I told myself I wasn’t going to do this whole “shoutout” thing, but this sendoff wouldn’t be complete without this one: Morgan Van Lanen. The one who kept me sane. The one who I originally thought was some older, badass sports queen. (She’s still a badass.) The one who turned into a great friend and the one who I’ll miss so much. Without you, I probably wouldn’t even have stayed. I’m glad I did.
I have the A-T to thank for some of my most exciting adventures in life. I never thought I’d go the distances I went just for this small campus newspaper that’s shoved into the basement of a building. I can’t put into words the amount of gratitude I have for these experiences. I hope that I made even the slightest positive impact on this newspaper during my time here. It definitely made a lasting impression on me.
My story isn’t long with the A-T, but it sure is a happy ending. I will never forget the first email I got from Morgan: “Hi Alicia, I’m the Sports Editor for the Advance-Titan and I just want to let you know that your sports photos are amazing. You’re one of our best photographers and I hope you stay with us!” I didn’t even know how to work a camera properly when I first started, and here I am, only a year and half in and I’ve grown so much as a photographer, a leader and a person. I’ll miss those long, yet amazing trips. I’ll miss taking those sports photos. I’ll miss hearing all of the jokes in the newsroom. I’ll miss picking on Mike and Neal for the entirety of our Virginia trip. And I’ll miss being around all of these amazing, talented and goofy folks, that’s for sure. Thanks, Advance-Titan. Onto the next adventure.