By Danielle Neville
I was one of those oddballs who genuinely loved high school. I loved my town, my friends, my family. I was honestly a little heartbroken to leave my home in Virginia and trek all the way to Connecticut. But, it had to be done. I was on a mission to discover myself. I knew the only way I could accomplish that was to get some space and start fresh.
So, off I went! Seven hours and a van full later, I wound up at Roncalli. My roommates and I were all cut from completely different cloths but it worked. We lived together for three years until one graduated. Then another year until the last one graduated. Going on without the only people I truly called my friends was extremely hard to overcome, but I knew I was capable. I decided to take a fifth year. Why, you may ask?
When I first came to SHU, I had my sights set on becoming a filmmaker. Behind the scenes of course, because that’s where I could let my creativity come to life. However, the first two or so years, something about majoring in film left me feeling empty. This confused me because I always knew I wanted to be in the entertainment field! One of the required classes led me to the Art department. A light went off when I stepped foot in Digital Production Basics with Prof. Chercy Lott. I learned all about the Adobe Creative suite and was fascinated by the ways I could express myself. Then and there, I decided that I needed to join the Art department as a Graphic Design major.
The Art department is a hidden gem on campus. People from all walks of life come together and create. It’s a strong, supportive environment that encourages students to push boundaries and think outside the box. Seniors and freshmen are one in the same, everyone collaborates and learns from each other. The Art department quickly became my home away from home. It was the place I grew into my own. There I met the people who encouraged me when I thought about giving up. They supported me at my lowest points and celebrated with me at my highest. They allowed me to be authentically myself, even if it meant showing up to class with a giant box of goldfish, a bowl of cereal, and bags of candy while working completely covered in paint. And I mean covered.
I discovered my passion for editorial and was able to combine it with my love of entertainment countless times. I created a magazine I hope to one day fully publish titled Always Watching. A magazine that is a tool for parents to understand the media their children are consuming and why it’s important to be educated on the matter.
At the end of the day, I adapted to my constantly changing environment. From moving up the coast all by myself to living on my own and adopting a dog. Making friends and losing them. The twists and turns of discovering what I want to do for the rest of my life led me here. A few months ago, I was asked to help with the design of the Spectrum. I haven’t been here long but I know how passionate this group is. I am honored to be a part of it, even if just for a moment.