Life has ‘it’ moments.
‘It’ can be the night you meet that someone who could be the one, or when you say yes to a college or university letter of acceptance, or the day you take a job that you know could be the career. There’s your life before ‘it’ and your life after ‘it’.
Florida was one of those moments.
Was it perfect? The 28 hour bus rides say no. But no story worth telling is and our time together under the Florida sun was a thing of absolute beauty.
We had the chance to capture moments with one of Canada’s finest photographers, discuss the ins and outs of writing with two editors whose collective experience spans a lifetime, and listen to the gruff and grumbling musings of Centennial’s most talented alumnus.
We saw that in this business, things go wrong — sometimes in spectacular fashion — and the difference between people who will be great in the industry and everyone else is the way they respond to that adversity.
We were given real world reps, the kind we’ll only properly appreciate in hindsight.
For nine days we learned how to be writers, interviewers, and journalists because there was no alternative. For nine days we lived in our dream come true.
That’s pretty cool to say, and exciting, and terrifying. And everything else that you feel in the half second before the roller coaster drops because these nine days also made it clear just how bad almost making it would hurt.
But that’s okay.
All that fear means is that we’re doing something deeply important to us, and maybe that was the best lesson of all: an affirmation of why we decided to do this in the first place.
The value in that can’t be measured, but Florida was more.
It was the tired eyed talks after 2 a.m. about life and love, frustrations and fears — all the things that, for one reason or another, you can’t quite say during the reasonable hours of the day.
It was terrible hotel coffee with good company on a balcony looking over the bay as the sun painted orange lines across the water.
It was sitting in a room, looking from side to side, and knowing that you’re surrounded by 22 other uniquely remarkable, passionate, and talented people who are chasing dreams just as big and crazy as your own.
Florida may have lasted less than two weeks, but time holds no bearing on magic. Like the rest of life’s finest moments it wasn’t just about what happened, it was who we shared it with.
It’s a big world full of twists and turns and none of us can know what will come next. But whatever does, nothing can take away those nine days in the sun, the memories made, and most importantly, each other.
You can’t ask for more.
By Thomas Ketko