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The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Senior 30: My longest cutline ever … and my last

Liliana+Perez+poses+for+a+self-portrait%2C+Monday%2C+April+25%2C+2022%2C+at+Old+Main.

Liliana Perez poses for a self-portrait, Monday, April 25, 2022, at Old Main.

Editor’s Note: “-30-” has traditionally been used throughout journalism to indicate the end of a story. Each semester, The University Star encourages its graduating seniors to write a Senior 30 — a farewell piece to readers — indicating the conclusion of a journalist’s time as an active member of our organization.
Liliana Perez says goodbye to San Marcos and The University Star in April 2022. I’ve been writing cutlines like this for over two years now, so it seems only fitting for me to write this Senior 30 in the form of a cutline, too. As photojournalists, we can write a sentence or two with additional context at the end of our cutlines if applicable. I sometimes have the habit of making those sentences really long, but this is by far my longest. And sadly, it’s also my last.
I got hired during my sophomore year on February 7, 2020. I remember because the first assignment I ever did for The University Star was a Valentine’s Day Sweetheart’s Ball photo gallery a week later. My editor at the time told me not to worry and that I didn’t have to stay for the whole event. So guess what I did? I stayed until they cut the music and long after the life and arts reporter writing the story left. I was so worried about missing something important, that I ended up taking around 1,400 photos just to see 12 get published. It’s funny but now that’s just become standard practice for me.
It was also a crazy time to get hired because about a month later, Texas State announced over spring break that classes would be going fully remote. And it would be a long time before I stepped foot into the newsroom again, and even longer before I actually got to see my photos in print. In fact, I’ve still never quite spent as much time in the newsroom as I hoped. So many people have come and gone since I’ve been at The Star, including those I never got to meet in person.
I sometimes wonder what my experience would’ve been like and if I would’ve been able to make more friends and memories had COVID-19 not gotten in the way. But I honestly couldn’t be more grateful for what I’ve done and learned throughout my time here. My favorite moments have been the ones where I’m just wandering around campus with my camera, not looking for anything specific yet finding something striking nonetheless. My love for photography came from growing up in the middle of nowhere, where I had no choice but to learn to find beauty in the simplest things, in the dirt, trees, sky and objects around me. I hope that this translated into the photos I took for The Star and through the people I photographed on the Quad, at Sewell Park, at the LBJSC, under the UAC arch and other various spots around campus.
So to anyone who ever let me take their photo or interview them for a project – thank you. To the 2021-2022 editorial board – y’all crushed it (especially Natalie and Vanessa, I couldn’t be more grateful to have you both as my editors). I’d also like to thank all the professors I’ve had throughout the years as well as everyone within the multimedia team I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. And I of course have to thank my family and, most of all, my mom for her for unwavering support and encouragement; I love you and wouldn’t be where I am or who I am without you.

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