Senior Sendoff

Katie O'Brien

“Wanna take some pictures?”

Charlotte Greene, the former photography editor, was sitting next to me and waiting for an answer.

“Sure,” I said.

That was my first encounter with anyone from The Quinnipiac Chronicle. To anyone else, I know it may seem insignificant. However, that small conversation would determine what the next four years of my life would encompass.

From that meeting on, I was a photographer for the newspaper. Unlike other sections, I was able to jump around and get a taste of all sections of The Chronicle. One day I was shooting behind the Zamboni at a men’s hockey game and the next I was meeting with extraordinary students with dynamic stories to capture their portrait for This is Me. This is a unique feature of the photography section of the newspaper. We see it all, we’re the jack-of-all-trades.

Through my experiences with The Chronicle and other degrees of campus and community involvement, I’ve been able to learn things I may have not. No matter what major you are, journalism or otherwise, I believe these little tips can add a certain dimension to any student’s college career. These are things I wish I had learned earlier.

Take chances. The photography section allowed me to take risks and get creative with my work. A former editor-in-chief once said at a staff meeting that this is the only time in our lives where we’re going to be able to have this much creative freedom within a publication. The multi-dimensional creative potential of The Chronicle is limitless, all it takes is a handful of talented and dedicated individuals to see it through. Through my four years here, I’ve seen that potential skyrocket, and I know from here on out it’s only going to get better.

Be creative. Although I’m probably a little biased because before I was senior managing editor I was associate, and then later the photography editor, this isn’t a plug for the section. It’s a plug for creativity, and not just for Chronicle people. Get out there and create something you’ve never done before, be weird and be different. Take some pictures if that’s your thing, write a short story or even take a stab at painting. No matter how non-creative you may think you are, trust me, it’s worth a shot.

Go abroad. The only experience over the past four years that rival my time with The Chronicle is the semester I studied abroad. I participated in a program called Semester at Sea, where I circumnavigated the globe, travelling to 12 different countries throughout Asia and Africa by ship. The things I saw, the people I met and the conversations I had will stay in my mind forever, and taught me more about life and myself than I could have ever learned from a lecture.

I understand that not everyone has the opportunity to do this and it doesn’t fit every person’s schedule. However, if you can make it happen, do it and do it right. Don’t go for the parties, the pictures or the bragging rights. Do it to immerse yourself in a culture that is completely unfamiliar. Go somewhere that the people don’t speak English. Turn your phone off and talk to people about things that hold weight. You won’t regret it.

So now, on May 18, I’ll leave Quinnipiac with not only a bachelor’s degree, but a newly gained perspective. I learned things outside of the classroom from simply paying attention to what was going on around me and applying it to my own life. Graduating classes to come, I hope you will do the same.