CREDIT: Angelice Nguyen
Entering college as a freshman during COVID was nerve-racking coming from a small town and leaving all my friends and family. Meeting people and making new friends was especially hard as everything was remote. I didn’t really know too much about Rowdy Magazine or know what being a “set designer” meant, but I decided to apply and got the position.
Rowdy Magazine has always been a second family here in Gainesville. I got to meet other creatives who were like me and needed an outlet during the pandemic. The thing that I loved most about joining Rowdy was that there were no guidelines to what was editorial, and it wasn’t a traditional magazine; it was just fun. Even though a lot of the interactions were over Zoom at the time, Rowdy was its own little community. And over time, I got to see that community grow.
I want to thank Mariel Wiley for passing me this opportunity to head the photo and video department. I remember her asking if anyone would be willing to take her position as photo director, and I decided to do it without having any knowledge of what it entailed.
That was the best decision I could have ever made in my college experience.
During my time as photo director, I met so many amazing, beautiful and creative people both inside and outside of the magazine. I could not thank everyone who has been a part of my team throughout the years enough and those who have also stepped in to help. It was so gratifying time and time again to see a vision created by a group of people come together. From standing on random objects to DIYing last-minute props to holding smoking lights, the shoots and the team always pulled through to create something beautiful.
Even though I am leaving, Rowdy Magazine and the Rowdy family will always have a special place in my heart. This experience will leave a ginormous mark on my college experience at the University of Florida, and I am beyond grateful for it. I look forward to seeing what Kira and Alex do as photo directors and have no doubt that the photo team will continue to do an amazing job at creating something special.
Angelice Nguyen (designated light holder)