Potts: My experience at CSU has been anything but a straight line

Ashley Potts

Editor’s Notes: Traditionally, graduating seniors working at The Collegian are given the chance to write a farewell note at the end of their tenure at CSU.

Dear readers,

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I’m writing to you now as the outgoing Collegian sports director. This is not a place I ever thought I would be. 

My path in my time at Colorado State University has been anything but a straight line. I began as a freshman majoring in biomedical sciences with a vague dream of going to medical school only because I was way too deep into my binge watching of “Grey’s Anatomy.”

I quickly realized this wasn’t my thing and tried to change to health and exercise sciences, thinking that maybe the path to physical therapy school would be easier. It wasn’t.

Then I set my sights on photography and became an art major, because it had the most photography classes offered, but I am not an artist at heart. That’s where The Collegian comes in. 

I found my way down to the newsroom partway through my sophomore year, in the middle of an existential breakdown and a third major change form in my hand. I came in looking for an opportunity to take photos that weren’t fine art intended to be hung in a frame on a gallery wall. That’s not what I found.

I spent my entire first semester at the paper writing for the arts and culture desk. I wrote about art openings, dog olympics, interesting people and not-quite-good movies. I tried to reach out to the photo editor at the time, but I never received a response.

When I finally found my way onto the photo desk, I did everything I could. I took photos of everything: City Council, car crashes, protests and more dog olympics. Near the end of my first semester taking photos, I finally found myself at the baseball field. I took some mediocre photos of a baseball game and thought nothing of it. 

After a summer of thought, I found myself at every CSU sports event you can think of. I shot football practice and overtime games in the cold that didn’t end until 1 a.m. I have now taken photos of every team this school has to offer — except golf, because I could never track them down.

I made my way into a two-year internship with the Colorado Eagles, and finally, after years of feeling like I had no direction, I figured out what this five-year journey was for. 

I then ended up with not one, but two jobs on The Collegian editorial board: neither of which I actually applied for. I applied for multiple jobs, multiple times and was passed up, but I stuck around anyway, because I’m stubborn. I’m now both the assistant photo editor and the sports director: positions that no one else wanted and the editorial board trusted me to do with little to no training.

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I don’t have my plans in line for what happens after graduation just yet. But if this weirdly chaotic, one-year-too-long journey has proven anything, it’s that I am not to be underestimated. 

I’m grateful for the opportunities I have been given in this job. I would be nowhere without the faith and trust my friends here have put in me. Thank you for teaching me to be stubborn in the best way and giving me the confidence in my abilities that no classroom or textbook ever could have taught me. 

I’ll miss you all.

Ashley Potts

Ashley Potts was the assistant photo editor and sports director of The Rocky Mountain Collegian. She can no longer be reached at sports@collegian.com, but you may still reach out to her on Twitter @ashleypotts09.