Trust, but Verify

About Me: Self-Starting

by A.J. Mercincavage | September 2, 2012

While you get to know me through my articles on the Democratic and Republican Conventions, it may be worthwhile for me to provide my own little biography for readers of Trust, but Verify.

I am a 23-year-old senior at Lynn, studying multimedia journalism. How I got to Lynn is a bit of an odyssey. After high school, I attended Northeastern University in Boston for a year. I didn’t care for school, and was tremendously unmotivated and unsure of myself. I withdrew after a year to take time off of school. However, I didn’t waste that time. I had a friend who made documentaries for charities, specifically a charity called Flying Kites in Kenya. And this friend had a crazy idea: come to India with him to help make a documentary on street children living in New Delhi. Naturally, and probably to the horror of my loving parents, I seized the opportunity.

During that two month trip to India I learned a lot about myself and about the world outside of my “home.” I had a reaction to my malaria pills, lost 20 pounds, and found my love for photography and interviewing people. By the time I got home, I knew that the ups and downs of the trip had changed me. I was more motivated. I knew that I had a real interest in journalism and that I flat out just enjoyed meeting new people and seeing new things. When and where else was I going to take photography like this?

To the relief of my loving parents, I started attending community college when I got back from India. What I once thought was purgatory for students who couldn’t make it into big, competitive schools, I found was anything but. I met great professors who helped me on my way. I still remember one Psychology teacher, whose name escapes me, tell me that if I didn’t want to work for anybody else, that I’d have to be a self-starter. That’s hard hitting for a student who wasn’t interested in well… anything at one time. I stayed in community college for two semester before succumbing to my itch for travel. This time I went to Kenya through contacts I had made during my first trip. I spent a week in Mombasa and Nairobi, where I took photographs for a Non-Governmental Organization.

When I got back home, I got to work sending out applications to four year universities. I wanted so badly to get back into school. (Quite a turnaround, huh?) The problem was that schools didn’t want me. I was rejected from half a dozen big, competitive journalism schools. Undiscouraged, I went on the College Board website and found communication schools in California and Florida. If they don’t want me, I thought, I’ll find someplace that does. Someplace warm!

And so, I arrived at Lynn during fall 2010. I haven’t looked back. Coming to Lynn has been one of the best things to happen to me. I found my Ithaca at the end of my educational odyssey. I found a Penelope too, in my girlfriend of almost two years, Sophia Barrett. I’ve gone to Cuba with Lynn’s J-Term program. I worked as a Resident Assistant, an event photographer, a go-getter. I’ve gotten involved as an editor of Lynn’s newspaper, iPulse. Most importantly, I’ve become a self-starter.

As my education at Lynn draws to a close, I’m eyeing up graduate programs and the prospect of law school. I want to get involved with politics, to be a participant. Hopefully readers of this blog will see me do just that.


1 Comment

Laura 9/5/12 5:58 pm

Great blog AJ! Keep up the great work :)