Good-bye, Asbury: I'm gonna miss you

6tag_180415-002250 There it is. The place that has housed me, fed me, schooled me and grown me for the past four years. Look at it, standing there all cloaked in a halo of light and a beautiful violet sky. How dare it look so lovely and give me pangs of regret about the fact that I'm leaving in a day.

One day. That's how much longer I have in the place that has held me for such a long time. And as ready as I was to leave a few weeks ago (I even wrote an article in the Collegian about being ready to move on...which is still true), I'm starting to feel the nostalgia flood in.

Because Asbury, Wilmore and Lexington are full of so many memories for me. For the past week, every time I've stepped outside my apartment--and sometimes even while I'm sitting in the apartment--I've been faced with flashbacks and deja vu.

That firehouse is where Merry and I sat and watched the Christmas lights Sophomore year when we first became friends; the Starbucks next to Kohl's is where Joyce, Becca and I used to hang out and do homework after church every Sunday; the smell of GC that used to be a part of my daily life; the News Bureau, where I've spent countless hours writing, laughing and getting life advice from some of the best friends a girl could ask for; the Moe's next to the mall, the movie theater I've spent hours in, Tolly Ho...there's too many places to mention.

The best friend collage

And don't even get me started on Rebeca. My roommate. My best friend. My sister. She's been my sounding board for the past four years. She's given me advice, taken me on roomie dates when I'm having a bad night and generally been around to get me through everything.

Obviously it hasn't been perfect. We fight like you can't believe; we've mastered the art of screaming and swearing and crying and making up. I get jealous. We're both competitive. But somehow, over all the ups and downs of the past four years, we've stayed best friends. Rebeca, you're one of the greatest blessings in my life. I'll love you forever.

Then there's the Collegian, Asbury's student newspaper. I've been an editor on the Collegian for three years, and it's been a transformative experience. I've grown exponentially in my ability as a writer, as an editor and as an administrator. I've gone from Wilmore to Chicago and New York City. Thanks to the Collegian, I got to apply and be accepted as part of the group traveling to the Olympics last February. I have clips galore to go along with all the great memories I've had.

I was a T.A.G. Coordinator, which introduced me to tons of people who taught me what it means to be a servant leader. Emily, my dear Coordinator partner, you are a gem and I love you forever.

There are too many friends and professors and moments that have shaped my life to list them all here. Just know, Asbury, that although we haven't had a perfect relationship, we've had one that has shaped my life. I owe a part of myself to you, and I will always miss you. No matter how far away I go, a piece of my heart will stay in little old Wilmore forever.

Farewell, my dears. Today is one of the biggest days of my life, the day I walk across the stage to receive my not-actually-a-diploma, the culmination of four years of hard work and a lot of effort. I'm excited about what the future has to offer and the places we'll go, but it's bittersweet.

I love you, Asbury.


Life on Lime: a documentary

From right to left: me, Kajsa and Cassie, a.k.a. the crew. Between the three of us, we poured more than 260 hours into the project over the course of the semester. We drove dozens of miles between Wilmore and Lexington, ate countless donuts and ventured forth at 3:30 a.m. for a shoot. There were tears, angry words and threats to drop the class. But in the end, there was a seven-minute documentary about a really awesome revitalization happening in downtown Lexington, Kentucky. It was for a little class called Documentary Filmmaking, a requirement for all Journalism & Digital Storytelling majors at Asbury, and one of the scariest classes any journalism major has ever had to face. Especially those journalism majors with little experience in video and editing. It was a wild ride, to say the least. Cassie and I chose each other and Kajsa on the very first day of class, and from then on we were a team; the three of us against the world, ready to take on any challenge life could throw at us...and there were many. Our very first interview was set for 9 a.m. on a Thursday morning, so Kajsa and I got into my roommate's car and headed for North Lime Coffee & Donuts, only the best donut place in all of Lexington. We had to redo that shoot a few weeks later. Something about a poor background and bad composition. Strike one. We had to redo our second interview as well; this time it was fuzzy, and, again, bad background. Strike two. The way our professor, Greg Bandy, ran the class, was that we had a certain amount of time for pre-production, the planning, researching and setting up of interviews; then we moved to production, when we were supposed to get all of our shooting done (we didn't--strike three. Whoops). Finally, there was a month allotted for post-production, in which we did editing. And also a lot more shooting. The day our second cut was due, every single student in our class gave us the same feedback: MORE B-ROLL. So we got more b-roll. And then we edited. And edited. And pulled our hair out over low audio, shaky b-roll and where to stick that one clip. We giggled over a resemblance of one interviewee to a classmate, and over the iconic, "...and people yelling." We batted around titles, including, "Candace is awesome," and, "Some people talking. Also Candace." (We love'll see why.) In the end, the long hours and hair-pulling out sessions paid off: we turned in a seven-and-a-half minute documentary to our professor. And hey, I think it's not half bad. More importantly, though, I had a great experience figuring out how to plan, shoot and edit a documentary. I think I can safely say it was an unforgettable experience. [vimeo 113935601 w=500 h=281] Life on Lime from Kajsa Swanson on Vimeo.