Halfway through sophomore year, I had fallen into a slump of life. I didn’t feel motivated, I felt lazy and that I was wasting my opportunity of the college experience.
I remember one day in particular, on my way back to south village and all its gloom. I had called my dad and told him I wanted to join the construction management program and take a swing at it. “I think you can do it if you do your best,” my father said. As a kid I always hated his basic advice of “doing your best.” But it wasn’t till later that I finally realized what he meant.
I have observed the same thing in being a practitioner of photography. As a photographer, you are constantly looking at the world through the eyes of “what would be a great shot.” Running through various composition, lighting, subject framing, and other key aspects that make a photo a great one. And no matter how hard you think and contemplate the quality of your photo, you’ll never fully know you gave it your best till you capture it.
That’s what I’ve seen with my college experience. I didn’t start having fun and enjoying my time here till I started giving my best effort. Until I became so busy I forgot the days. The following semester I started double majoring, became a senior photographer for The Lumberjack, participated in various clubs, and took every opportunity that was presented to me. This has allowed me to have the best college experience I could have imagined.
As the Director of Photography, I have enjoyed every moment of leading the photo section. From guiding photojournalists through assignments, negotiating with outside organizations, working with the incredible photo department and being responsible for them. I have given my best effort to them despite a heavy schedule, clubs and ambitious goals. And have been rewarded with the success that they have achieved. As a senior photographer, my goal was to earn the front cover of each issue, selfishly taking as many assignments and focusing on my photo-taking ability to be the best in the group. As the Director, my goal has shifted to making sure every person is the best they can be. I am a servant to them, because when they go out and succeed, I have succeeded. It truly has been the perfect position for me.
And this all started from the current Editor in Chief Camille Sipple typing in our COVID-era zoom photo class inviting others to join. My letter to Camille, I have an appreciation for you that I cannot put into words. That was the start of my true college career, enabling me to make the best memories, befriend the most genuine people and discover aspects about myself that I wouldn’t have otherwise. From that jump of trust to join from your invitation, I have truly been blessed and I thank you for that.
And to anyone reading this, I would implore you to do your best. You won’t know you’ve done it till you just go for it. That’s the beauty of it.