Alex Huerta says farewell to Tarleton and Student Publications


Before I say farewell, hello everyone, my name is Alex Huerta and I am a senior majoring in digital media studies. I am from Lingleville, Texas and have lived in the surrounding area of Stephenville all of my life. I have been a student at Tarleton State University for the past five and a half years and am currently working for Student Publications in our Creative office. I have been involved in many organizations and positions during my time here; Tarleton Transition Mentors, Tarleton Art Society, which eventually became Lambda Gamma Tau and regressed back to Tarleton Art Society and MENtal Freedom. I have been a Residential Leader for two years, Contributor for The JTAC, Multimedia Editor for The JTAC, and now the photographer for the Creative team. I also create art alongside my photography. Somewhere along the way, I have met many of you and you may have seen me at events on campus or have seen my name if you read the newspaper or grabbed your yearbook Five and a half years is a long time. In that long of a timespan, I have accomplished many things, but also in that time that I’ve been here, I have failed many times. Growing up in a small town I did not feel like I needed many people in my life, or feel that I needed to meet more people. Staying in one place for this long, I did not feel that I needed to travel or “broaden my horizon.” When I came here, I did not have a direction. I just knew I wanted to become a video game designer, then that idea or dream slipped away. Freshman year, I was sitting in my drawing class just working like we were supposed to and my professor, Knut Hybinette, sat next to me. “Hey! I’m teaching a photography class next semester; you should sign up. It’ll be fun,” Hybinette said. I have always been bad at turning people down for opportunities so I agreed. Not sure what to expect, I got my first camera that Christmas to prepare me for the next semester. Quickly I found that I was pretty talented and it was something I fell in love with. I became invested and any opportunity of being asked to travel, for a trip to New York City or for a photography conference, I jumped on it. Any photography class that is taught at Tarleton, I have taken. My second photography professor, Chris Ireland, taught me much in photography and in life. He required a conference as part of his photography course and I volunteered to work at the conference. I went on to travel to Waco, Baton Rouge and Lubbock for annual conferences. I also accompanied the art students on two trips to New York City, where I told Ireland it was my first time flying on a plane. Ireland has become a mentor figure in my life and I would hate to disappoint him. I am forever grateful for these two men and what they have shown and taught me. Through the art program, I met Sarah Buschlen who is vocal and unique beyond belief. At first, I thought she was annoying in class. One art exhibition and a few drinks later, I can safely say that I am grateful that I was open to getting to know her outside of class. Sarah is also another talented photographer and acknowledged my talent in photography. At the time, she held the same position I do now in Creative. She told me I needed to apply to the JTAC, the school’s newspaper, and that she’s told them all about me and my photography. All I needed to do was apply and I would get the job. I applied and no interview later, I got the job. I came in with the only goal of doing photography and that is what I did. I also worked as a RL and as a waiter at my parent’s restaurant, ZJ’s Ranch Café, so there was only so much I could do. As the school year winded down, the position of Photo/ Multimedia Editor became available and I applied. I went on to work alongside Klaire Brock, the Editor-In-Chief, and she’s one big ball of stress rolled into a person. I was the opposite, or at least I showed to be the opposite. Nonetheless, I worked with her and we got along well. I may have stressed her out or made her mad for not being stressed out, but we still held a good relationship outside of the newspaper office. My mental health was not the greatest at the time, I was disorganized more than usual and I didn’t work like I was supposed to. I would then feel bad for not performing. Klaire would make me to-do lists before I would come in and it kept me working. I feel most people would have taken that as a form of passive aggressiveness, but I was grateful for it. It kept me going. For those of you who are afraid of failing, it’s okay to fail. Lose the expectation of finishing in four or less years and make up for it with what you do while you fail. You can fail in one place and succeed in others. If you have to stay longer, make up for it not as a student, but as someone who wants to succeed. Just try to be stubborn and try to succeed in the end. Meanwhile, find success in your failures. The things I felt I didn’t need, I needed. The experiences I didn’t think I would ever experience, I experienced. Through the years, I have met many people. Whereas before, I felt I didn’t need to meet any more. Whether it be as a student, a TTM, an RL or as a photographer, I remember many of you and I wish I could make the time to talk to every one of you. Find me through social media and reach out. If you’re reading this as someone new, you can do the same; I love meeting new people. I have a new direction in life and I’m fully confident in taking it on. I look back and while I see all my failures, I can safely say that my successes overshadow my failures. Through chance and through every one of you, I have accomplished much in my pursuit of happiness, in the last five and a half years. I am forever grateful. Thank you and farewell.