When I first walked into the Baylor Lariat’s newsroom my sophomore year, I was worried because I didn’t know what I was doing. I think I spent a good portion of my first semester wondering if someone had made a mistake, if it was a fluke that I was hired, if there were more deserving or qualified applicants in a school of journalism majors, than the neuroscience major who just walked in.
Funny how things work out.
I don’t think that girl who walked into Castellaw 232 that Monday morning in August would have ever guessed that her journey would lead her to becoming the station manager of a campus television station. I don’t think she would have ever predicted the journey, being taught and mentored and then turning around and doing the same for future students. However as I start to prepare for next year, even at a new school, in a new medium, I can’t help but feel those thoughts of wonder again. But I guess, as I know now, that’s part of the fun.
Sometimes I wonder why, as a graduate neuroscience student, I manage to find myself still wrapped in the world of journalism or why it was a surprise to no one but myself.
Student media has, without a doubt, shaped and influence my undergraduate career and now my graduate career. I doubt many neuroscience graduate students, if any, choose to undertake more challenges or stress in a field that is many degrees separated from what I one day hope to pursue as a career, and I can’t for a moment regret it. Sure there are moments where I am just completely stressed out and I can’t stand having to answer yet another question or do yet another piece of administrative work or where I feel myself losing passion for what I’m doing.
But those moments have been off-set by so many memories, adventures and experiences that are so uniquely one-of-a-kind, that I’d take all the bad times to have all of the good. Honestly looking back, I don’t remember every single test grade I got, but I do remember every single haunted house experience I had last fall when we did a special review of several haunted houses in Texas. I don’t think I remember every single lab report I submitted, but I do remember my adventures at conferences in New York, Philadelphia, San Antonio and Fort Worth. I remember staying up until 5 a.m. gift wrapping our adviser’s office. I remember late night talks in the office and scrambling to meet our drop deadlines — and the feeling of relief when we finally succeeded.
I think that’s the hallmark of a good college experience and the thing that always had me going back to student media. I cannot imagine having spent my last three years putting as much energy into anything else. These people became my family; they are my family. They’ve seen me at my best and at my worst and still for some reason don’t hate me, outside a couple of jokes about Baylor.
I know that student media is not for everyone, but I also know that people find their passion in so many things — one of my friends is heavily involved with crew and table tennis, another one of my friends her works closely with her sorority and my other friends have found community in all sorts of different organizations.
One of the biggest complaints I hear about UTD that I’m guilty of making myself is about the lack of community or the amount of apathy in our student body. Quite frankly, your college experience is really what you make of it. If you choose to come to school just for your classes and don’t try to give back through involvement in an organization, you’re probably going to be bored. If you embrace the organizations and communities around you, you will find people who become your family. And while I personally hope the best years of my life are yet to come, I can’t deny that my college years have been pretty special, and I hope looking into my last year of my Master’s program that there are still memories to be made and adventures to be sought.
So for any incoming freshmen that may stumble upon this blog, find something you’re passionate about and stick with it, get involved, and jump in with two feet because you never know where that may take you. For any rising and graduating seniors, embrace the opportunities you have had, and enjoy the little things that come your way, and for everyone else, enjoy your college experience and be involved.