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Goodbye Column: Ayla Babanikos

Videography Director


Credit: Ayla Babanikos

I’ve never been good at goodbyes. I’ve always been the nostalgic, bittersweet girl who clings onto the present before it becomes the past. That’s what I did during my time at UF, so caught up in the fear of forgetting each moment that I would live in a perpetual panic.

As you can imagine, I was pretty confused after graduation. I thought I lived fully, savored every memory and cherished my time in college. Clearly, the pressure I had put on myself prevented me from living in the present. 

That’s where Rowdy came in. During this transitional phase I found myself in, I applied to be Video Director. The staff welcomed me with kindness and open arms, and I’m so grateful for this little slice of Gainesville I discovered. I’d never worked in a facet such as this, and I had a blast watching the team work during the photoshoots. It was during this time that I realized my past mistake in the pressure I had put myself in, and began to truly learn how to live in the present. 

Rowdy, I couldn’t have found you all at a better time. 

A couple months after I began working with Rowdy, I got my first full-time job post-college. I think the confidence I gained as Video Director played a part in me acing that interview.

Naively, as I often am, I thought I could juggle both roles (and all the other obligations we humans endure on a weekly basis: solid sleep, healthy habits, maintaining relationships, etc.), but I quickly realized that I took on more than I’m able to handle. 

So, after only a single semester, I must bid Rowdy adieu. Thank you, Tiffany and Aurora, for believing in my talents and allowing me to work alongside such a talented staff. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us all. 




Ayla Babanikos is a filmmaker. Her passions lie in directing, cinematography, and screenwriting (not necessarily in that order). She graduated from UF in May '23 with a degree in film production. Ayla hopes to make a name for herself in the indie film scene.


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