I was a spring admit to Binghamton University in 2016. By the time I got here, I had spent a semester at another SUNY. It was a discombobulated time in my life. I moved in days before the regular students came back from winter break and spent days alone in my new dorm room. Not a great start for me.

However, my brother, James, and my other two friends from home, Joe and Mariel, were there for me during my rather difficult adjustment period. James told me about Pipe Dream and WHRW 90.5 FM — the two clubs that would define my college experience.

At Pipe Dream’s general interest meeting (GIM), I had originally only come to sign up for the Arts & Culture section. On a whim, I signed up for Photography as well. I barely knew how to adjust the settings on a camera and had minimal experience with a DSLR camera. I was also incredibly intimidated by the photo editor at the time because of my own meekness and his high expectations.

I quickly started doing sports coverage. I was given a camera that was worth more than my entire life savings. I soon began figuring out how to do basic setting changes on the fly during softball games, learning what ISO, white balance, aperture and other functions meant. It was insane to not ask for a tutorial before taking a professional camera with a lens the size of my arm onto an athletic field, where I was in the line of fire of various sports balls, but I figured it out. And I absolutely loved it.

At BU, I’ve had the highest highs and the lowest lows. I have struggled with confidence and my value in this world. I have learned that telling white lies to make the people around me worry less doesn’t work, especially when I eventually crack from the pressures I constantly put myself under.

To my brother James: Thank you for encouraging me to join Pipe Dream (and WHRW Binghamton). I have no idea who I would have been without these organizations. Also, thank you for always being my guide. I don’t know where I’d be without you. I love you.

To Mariel and Joe: Thank you for letting your friends be my friends. In the beginning at BU, I was alone. Well, I thought I was alone. The two of you always welcomed me to hang out with your friends without feeling like a burden. From the bottom of my heart, thank you and your wonderful friends for taking care of me my freshman year (and the rest of my time here).

To all my closest friends (you know who you are): Thank you for sticking around. I love you all more than you even know. Thank you for valuing me.

To WHRW Binghamton: We’ve been through it together. We are in each other’s space and business most days of the week — it’s a mystery how we’ve lasted. To be real, there were difficult times. But make no mistake, I am definitely a WHRW kid and I will miss that dirty lobby. You have given me some of my closest friends in life. Keep it lit.

To She’s the First: You girls swooped in when I felt so low. I was only a part of you for two years, but in that time I managed to become president. You’re all wonderful ladies with such big hearts. Thank you.

To my parents: You have held me up my whole life, even when I’ve made it so difficult. Thank you both for always being there when I make hysterical phone calls about small problems that feel so big. I love you both.

And of course, to Pipe Dream: I have always felt like I belonged, even in the times when I disappeared because I was too busy to come to meetings and take jobs. I was always welcomed back with open arms; thank you all for that.

To all the photo editors and assistant photo editors I’ve ever had: Thank you for never forcing me to do Weekend Warriors. I kid, but thank you for all the encouragement and love.

Katherine Scott is a senior double-majoring in art and design and political science.