For Those About To Rock, I’ll Blog About You: How one magazine subscription brought me to a college degree.

20 Apr

Somewhere between 9/11 and the start of high school, I began noticing I wasn’t a traditional pre-teen girl. While my sister was idolizing Britney Spears, I was dreaming of someday being as bad-ass as Brody Dalle.

By my eighth grade year, I’d found my niche and formed at least one lasting friendship with a person who ‘got’ me. Our parents were busy arranging who would pick us up and drop us off at the concerts we went to every weekend while we were listening to our music too loud upstairs.

That was the year I saw The Jealous Sound play at Fat Cat’s. It was the year I first heard Taking Back Sunday and painted their band name on a good chunk of my ceiling. It was the year when I staked out shows next door to a doll house factory in Spring, TX and dyed my hair black for the sake of expressing my individuality.

More importantly, it was the same year that I bought The Promise Ring’s Wood/Water for $5.99 at Hot Topic, and ultimately had my official introduction with Alternative Press. I recognized Brand New on the cover and knew I had to have it. (After all, Deja Entendu was and still is genius in its own right.)

The AP I remember was a beautiful publication. Not only did it have great photographs and articles, but it gave me something I felt I could believe in. Within those pages, I didn’t feel quite so alienated. The magazine offered me a chance to speak my mind with its reader polls, it showed me new bands I’d never heard of while still giving me access to those I loved. But really, it gave me hope that there was a place, a species of people even, that felt the same floating I did when I really loved something.

Although my excitement for each issue would have me flipping through the entire thing in one sitting, I would take my time and slowly read the magazine over the span of the month. I read each issue at least three times, ensuring I didn’t miss an article or section. I saved the cover stories for last.

Flash forward four years. I was a freshman in college with a book shelf that neatly displayed my subscribed history. In fact, it might have been the only organized, neat thing in my room aside from my record collection. I had begun to outgrow the music in AP, but I still received a subscription every year. It was the longest relationship I’ve ever had with one thing, so you can imagine that letting my subscription run out was like breaking up with my high school sweetheart. However, I was on to bigger an better things.

I went from a Photography major with dreams of CCA to a Print Journalism student. I realized that I wanted the impact my life to have on others to be as strong as the impact my music has had on mine. Without many of those articles, albums, artists and journalists, I don’t know who I’d aspire to be. I don’t really remember who told me that music was the universal language, but I’ve got an army of friends, and a million song lyrics, to prove it.

But it wouldn’t be college without the mention fear for our failing economy. Throughout the past four years, I’ve watched in horror as my favorite magazines have gone from print to online publications. Dreams of interning (for money, mind you!) in Decatur, GA with the Paste Magazine team died while I was still praying to make it to New York to write for Death+Taxes before they went out of print.

Although I won’t be receiving my diploma until December of this year, I’ll keep my chin up and have one for my homies who didn’t quite make it out alive. I’m still hoping my career won’t be one big failure because I’ve got big plans.

Even so, if I can go to concerts every night for the rest of my life, write and be published and use the excuse that ‘It’s for my job,’ I’ll be pretty damn content. It’s kind of like the clipping some anonymous source hung up in the campus’ radio booth I’ve lived in for the past four years: “I never worked a day in my life. It’s not work when you love what you’re doing.”

I guess when it comes down to it, I’m fine being a sinner, social freak who listens to hippie music and writes for the ‘liberal media’. I’m fine with it, and I’d never change it, because all of those things have made me, well, me. So if I know a thing or two about music and adolescence, I know that someday I am going to be interviewing a young girl’s favorite band and it will mean the world to her – and that means the world to me.

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2 Responses to “For Those About To Rock, I’ll Blog About You: How one magazine subscription brought me to a college degree.”

  1. Angie Sadhu April 21, 2011 at 11:09 am #

    I enjoy reading a post that makes population think. Some beyond doubt perfect posts on this internet site , thanks for contribution. Also, thanks for allowing me to comment!

    • Alyssa April 21, 2011 at 11:55 am #

      Thank you so much for the kind words. I truly appreciate them.
      Please continue to read 🙂

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