Graduate Goodbyes: Future unknown; gratitude certain

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May 4, 2016

I closed my camera bag today for the indefinite future.

It’s a bittersweet feeling to know that graduation is so close and that the start of my life is here, but I can’t help but feel sad because this will be my last week in the Royal Purple office.

Column by  Amber Levenhagen Photo Editor

Column by
Amber Levenhagen
Photo Editor

I started as a shy, baby photographer who was asked to help photograph a Halloween event in town, which eventually turned into my first story on gyms in Whitewater, to eventually becoming the photo editor.  My time on campus and with the Royal Purple is coming to an end, but I am so thankful for all the people I’ve met, memories made and friendships created.

The million dollar question: What’s next? Well, I have no idea what’s next for me, but I know that I owe Craig Schreiner a huge thanks for helping me start my path as a photographer. My first week on campus introduced me to a student photographer job for the university, a position that helped me grow and advance in photography, not only in skills but also in confidence. Thank you, Craig, for helping kick start my passion to reality and for offering me continuous guidance after leaving the office.

Dr. Carol Terracina-Hartman, thank you for being an incredible professor throughout my career at Whitewater. You helped guide me into journalism and pushed my butt to where it belongs, on the Royal Purple staff, and I’m so thankful to have had you as a resource. I owe you a lot, but I owe you a huge thanks for one thing in particular. When faced with a breast cancer scare, you not only were my professor but were also my friend by offering help and advice to get me through that rough month.

I’ll never forget that kindness. Thank you for everything you have done to help me grow as a person and as a journalist.
To the Royal Purple staff, past and present: thank you for the best few years I could have asked for.

Kim-Kim: may your grilled cheeses be plenty. I can’t wait to work for you one day. Thank you for holding my hand in the  beginning, and thank you for being such a great friend.

And to my staff of photographers: Thank you for all of your fantastic work this year. I’m so proud of all the hard work you do, Gilliland. You’re so talented, and I truly enjoyed watching you grow into a stronger photographer every week. I can’t wait to see what you accomplish in the future.

That’s a wrap, friends. To my fellow RP editors: I wish you nothing but the best. Thank you for being my support the last few years. I’ll never forget those Monday nights where we’d laugh until we cried over something that undoubtedly went on the quote board … I love you guys. Cheers.