My Towerlight alias
Four years is a long time. Other than my education, I can’t remember a time where I devoted myself to something for that long. But, I’ll be honest – sometimes I regretted the hell out of being a student journalist.
I’d been writing stories for The Towerlight since my freshman year. It was pretty geeky of me, actually. I went to The Towerlight’s Open House with a full binder of clips from my high school paper, taking this job seriously.
The first event I covered was on Sept. 11, 2008. And I don’t remember that just because it was the seventh anniversary of the terrorist attacks. I racked up a personal first – my name would be published in a college newspaper. Again, I was geeking out.
But sometimes I was jealous of the new friends I made who went out or had more fun things to do than cover an event any given day of the week. And once I received my first promotion, I was thrilled aside from the fact that I was saying goodbye to my Sundays.
I needed to balance working for The Towerlight and appreciating college for its social opportunities, too. That’s why sometimes I regretted it. I wanted The Towerlight to be part of my life, not all of it. But you know what? I look back now and realize it was one of the best “sacrifices” I ever made.
The Towerlight office became somewhat of a safe haven for me. I wouldn’t call it a second home, but it was a place where eventually I became myself. No, really. I ate like a pig in front of everyone, dressed to not impress most Sundays, and acted a certain way I only would around those people. Ask any staff member about my giggle fits. Classic Alissa.
As if I wasn’t a school nerd already, The Towerlight enhanced that side of me. I’d try to make jokes with my roommates or other friends, and it just wouldn’t be the same, because you had to be in the office to understand.
When I realized that was the case, it became more realistic to me that this is a group of people who, sometimes, I think see more of me than the friends I live with do. I haven’t decided whether I’ve accepted that, yet.
I can’t believe I’m admitting this in writing, much less in the publication that helped shape the writer and person I am, but I’m going to miss it – a lot. The fewer issues I had left as senior editor, the more I realized you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. I know, I know. You’d think as an aspiring journalist I’d be able to come up with something less cliché. But it’s true.
I always thought college was the real deal – that high school protected you before throwing you onto a bigger, better campus. I was wrong. The Towerlight has protected me in several ways. If I somehow reported incorrectly or missed a deadline by an hour or two, it was OK because I was still learning. So all of this time I’ve still been protected, and I now realize I’m on to face bigger battles, and on the streets of Manhattan, no less.
But I think I’m ready.