Experience from newspaper lays out useful habits


By Christian Urrutia, Web Editor

Time spent at a community college is often approached with the idea of rushing through it and finishing quickly so one can go on to the next step of their educational path.

But I found tremendous value in staying for a prolonged period and choosing to improve certain skill-sets I wasn’t really aware were skill-sets to begin with, through the college’s journalism program. I didn’t intend to be a journalist when I first arrived at Contra Costa College.

My early ambitions were directed toward film making; I wanted to create meaningful art, which I still do, but it is no longer within the realm of fiction, but very much involves storytelling and the presentation of stories in different mediums.

Like many, I flip flopped through what I wanted to do academically and personally after graduating and have always maintained a part-time job since high school so that complex variable always reared its ugly head when I considered my options.

So much so, where it reached a point that I contemplated only working and foregoing attending college altogether in hopes of landing a job through a vocational path aimed at the entertainment industry.

Thankfully, I changed my mind. Soon after I decided to take school seriously and outlined some goals, I joined The Advocate.

I heard about the paper for quite some time, before I even had some friends join it, first seeing it when I initially started attending CCC through concurrent enrollment. I decided to approach visual storytelling through a different perspective; photojournalism. The basis of motion pictures, photography, interested me and I wanted to understand how to capture images. Although I didn’t buy into The Advocate at first, I’m happy I returned after taking a break for a year.

Being on the paper allowed me to develop skills across a vast spectrum of journalistic and non-journalistic subjects, including how to tell a story but what I will cherish and remember mostly are the friends I made whom I consider near and dear to my heart as well as several friendships that were strengthened by my time here.

And as I prepare to transfer to San Francisco State next semester, the values this program has instilled in me cannot be downplayed.

I learned how to report through imagery and text, digitally edit photos and video, page design and layout, how to communicate with others through purposeful conversation and how to manage and work with others within a goal-orientated environment.

But my talented friends; George, Rodney, Mike, Cody McFarland, Lorenzo, Marci, Veronica, Faythe, Qing, Cody Casares, Roxy, Rob and Denis taught me the most during my time on The Advocate.

Christian Urrutia is the web editor of The Advocate. Contact him at [email protected].