Photojournalist reflects on time spent on newspaper staff

by: SKYLAR HERNANDEZ/Staff Writer 

College teaches you so many different things. But one thing they don’t teach you in the classroom is how to say goodbye.

My life has always been one big adventure, one after another. But South Plains College has given me the greatest one yet!

After high school, I was completely lost, just like every other graduate. I had no idea what I wanted out in this big world.

I didn’t have any plans or ideas for the future. The first year that I was out of high school, I worked as a daycare teacher. Teaching was something that I thought I wanted to do. But it seemed like every time I tried to go that route, something was pulling me away.

I’ve always enjoyed photography. I helped with the yearbook in high school and figured I should try to make a career out of it.

So I began thinking of what I really wanted in life. I needed a new adventure, with new people. I was told about South Plains College, and it seemed like my ticket away from home for a while.

The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do was leave everything I have ever known, my comfort zone.  A lot of people doubted me and what I could do. I guess you could say it motivated me and pushed me more than I thought it would.

All of the classes at SPC seemed perfectly normal, just like regular classes, until I entered CM 130.

I entered into a room full of Apple computers and more awards on the walls than I could ever possibly imagine.

I was incredibly terrified of that room and the people. On the first day, our advisor/professor, Charlie Ehrenfeld, walked into the room and called out our names and told us to introduce ourselves. One of the questions we had to answer was “Why do we want to be here?” All I said was, “because I love photography.” I never thought that five semesters later, my answer would change.

After everyone introduced themselves, Charlie said his most famous line, “This room will change you, if you let it.” I did not think that was possible what so ever.

I was completely wrong; I have met some of the most incredible people, and I have had some of the most amazing opportunities!

I’ve met a National Geographic photographer, along with many Texas country music artists. But my most favorite thing was to be on the sidelines for Texas Tech football games, and that has always been my dream.

But the people I will never forget and I will always cherish will always have a huge place in my heart.

First, I would like to mention my clumsy friend, Jenny. She has the biggest heart! I wouldn’t have gotten through my time here if I didn’t have a class with her every semester. She’s one of the most positive people I know, and she is always here for me, no matter what. She was one of my first friends on staff, and I will always cherish her.

Chesanie, who is my editor-in-chief now, has become an amazing friend to me. My Fridays would be so boring without her. We have some of the best talks, and I’m incredibly happy that we have gotten so close during my last semester at SPC. She is going to do such great things in life. I can’t wait to see what she does.

Joshua (UA) is someone I can always rely on to be a good friend. He makes me incredibly frustrated most times, but he makes up for it by making me laugh all the time. There is never a dull moment with him, especially talking about sports.

I can never forget about my big brother, Derek! He graduated my first year here, but that didn’t stop us from being friends. From day one, he has always looked out for me like his little sister. I know that I can always rely on him for absolutely anything.

Next would be Miss Brittany Brown (Beyoncé). This girl has more sass in one pinky than I do in my entire body! But my life would be so boring without her. She has always been straight-up with me, and if I need to know the truth about something, I know I can always go to her. She’s been an amazing friend to me, and I will always appreciate it.

My favorite redhead, Nicole, (even if she has brown hair now) she will always be that bright redhead who was my first friend on the staff. This girl always has a smile on her face. I admire that so much, and she is one of the sweetest people I know. She has always been here for me when I needed to talk, no matter the situation, without any judgment. Her jokes always make me laugh, whether I show it or not. I just love this girl.

Devin Reyna is my minion, partner in crime, sister, mom, protector, and roommate for life. I don’t know what I would have done without her. We fought like no other, but we also have cried together, cheered together, have had some of the weirdest, craziest adventures together. The 2 a.m. Lubbock drives were always something we did. I have some of my best memories with her. I wouldn’t trade them for the world. She knows me better than I know myself sometimes. It can get pretty scary, and I know that she will always have my back, like I will hers. By the way, she will be a great mommy to Zaylee bug. She’s already doing a great job!

My days would not be complete without Billy Alonzo making fun of me for something. But I would not have it any other way. Even though Billy has always made fun of me for just the littlest things, I know I can always rely on him. I remember when I first found out about my heart. He told me, “We are family, and we will always look out for you.” He doesn’t know this, but that made my entire day. I will miss him so much.

Sierra Taylor, who has watched me grow into the photographer I am now, has always encouraged me to do my very best, and nothing less. I get some of the greatest pep talks form this girl, and I know that she’s always just a phone call away. I admire the perseverance this girl has, and I look up to her more than she knows. I’m so glad to know that I will always have her as a friend.

Jayme Lozano is the person I go to for everything. She understands me more than anyone else I know, maybe because we weirdly do things alike. I have no idea! She has been such a loyal and caring friend. We really weren’t that close until my second semester. But even then could not compare to our friendship now. I have no idea how I did life without her. I know I can always rant to her, and she will listen and give great advice. Jayme always pushes me into doing things I’m not comfortable with. But it’s because she has always had faith in me, more than I ever had in myself, and I will always thank her for that. We will always be good friends.

Lastly, Charlie, my advisor, father, and friend, who I sometimes have to get on to like a child, is the reason for all of my opportunities and accomplishments. Without him, I would not have been able to fly like I did. He gave me wings, and I will never be able to thank him enough. He made me believe that if I work hard enough, my dreams can come true. He is a rare man, and I will miss him so incredibly much. My life won’t be the same without him nagging me all the time. I know he’s my advisor for life, whether he likes it or not. He is someone I can always count on, someone who will always push me to do my very best, and I’m grateful to him for all these amazing adventures I’ve had because of him.

This place gave me somewhere to fit in, a home, and I will never forget it.

Every good thing must come to an end sooner or later. It’s not goodbye, it’s just see you later. I have had the best memories in that room with some of the greatest people. Until next time, Plainsman Press.

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