How I learned to live with purpose

By Angelina Miller
February 9, 2017


New Beginnings

A mere six months ago, Cabrini College officially became a University. With this monumental transition came a new logo, brand identity, website and slogan. While Cabrini College students had been pushed to “do something extraordinary” every day since 1957, Cabrini University students such as myself are now motivated on a higher level, to always “live with purpose.”

In comparison to a majority of incoming freshman students, August to December of my first year at Cabrini was a time of change, transition and discovery. It was not until about January that I was ready to begin doing extraordinary things, or really, living with purpose.

After my best friend and former roommate set out for Florida to pursue her dreams of working in Walt Disney World, I began my second semester of college a bit lost. However, one thing that I was certain of was that my passions of writing, photography and music still had the capability of effortlessly bringing me happiness.

Naturally, those passions had drawn me to become an avid concert goer since my early years of high school. Aside from having a drive to hear my favorite bands and artists perform their music live, I would always walk into concerts with a camera in hand, anticipating capturing exciting moments that I would never be able to live through again.

Putting all the pieces of this unorganized puzzle together, going to an event such as Radio 104.5’s 2016 Winter Jam concert to see some of my favorite bands with my camera in hand was just what I needed to feel a sense happiness that the beginning of my second semester of college was missing. While I already knew this would be a day that I would never forget, I can now actually look back on it as one of the most monumental turning points in my life so far.

Onward and Upward

As I stood in the crowd of Winter Jam, I got to see and listen to the beautiful music of artists including Elle King, Nathaniel Ratliff and Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness. I could really only give about 50 percent of my attention to the actual concert though, due to being uncontrollably distracted by the photographers taking pictures of the artists from the pit in front of the stage. One could definitely say I had turned into a bit of a green-eyed monster.

Despite the fact that I was front row and taking decent pictures with my camera in hand, I finally stopped and thought about how my heart and being truly belonged on the other side of the barricade, along with the other photographers. Inevitably, my next thought was, “How hard can it really be to get there?” This weighed on my mind the whole night and days after the concert, and I knew I would not be at peace until I acted on it.

Little did I know that wandering into the office of Dr. Jerry Zurek, my professor and the chair of the communication department, would magically answer all of my questions faster than I ever thought was possible. By simply asking him if it was possible to take photos in the pit at a concert in the future and how I would be able to do so, he gave me the contact information Lauren Hight, of a recent Cabrini graduate that had a connection to Radio 104.5 through her job with iHeartMedia. After reaching out to Lauren, I immediately ran to the phone to call my mom, a Cabrini alumni, and tell her the good news. This was only to have her shock me with the news that Lauren was actually the daughter of the roommate she had at Cabrini back in the day.

Our worlds had collided, and I had never stood by the phrase
“everything happens for a reason” more.

After connecting with Lauren by e-mail, we decided to meet in Jazzman’s Cafe at Cabrini to discuss my aspirations. What I expected to be a brief lunch turned into over an hour of conversation about Cabrini, our families and the potential opportunities that I could have as soon as that upcoming summer. Time passed between February and March, as my second semester started going by in the blink of an eye.

By staying in touch with Lauren, being persistent and making the right connections though, I received an email with good news by the end of April. To my disbelief, I received the logistics for the first Block Party of Radio 104.5’s 2016 series, admitting myself to take photos in the press pit of the concerts all throughout the summer.

As a result of that, bands that I photographed including Modern Colour and Kaleo ended up posting my photos on their own Instagram pages.

While that was inevitably one of the highlights of my summer and career as a freelance photographer so far, I did not want to stop there. Come December, I was immediately onto the next one and had my eyes on Radio 104.5’s Winter Jawn concert coming up in January. By continuing to work my connections and be consistent with my interest in photographing the show, I watched my life come full circle right before my eyes. On January 15, 2017, I walked independently and proudly into the press pit for Radio 104.5’s 2017 Winter Jawn concert to take photos of Grouplove, Capital Cities, Judah & the Lion and more.

In the words of Winter Jawn’s headlining band
Grouplove, “nothing ever comes without a change.”

Something in the air at Cabrini University pushed me to make a change in my life and push myself to be better. By simply living with purpose and being blessed with wonderful people surrounding me, things that I once envisioned only as fantasies in my photographic career have now become a reality. All of the photos that I took at Winter Jam can be found here. 


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Angelina Miller

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Special Project

Title IX Redefined Website

Produced by Cabrini Communication
Class of 2024

Listen Up

Season 2, Episode 3: Celebrating Cabrini and Digging into its Past


Scroll to Top
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap