Why the J-School?
Beginning my College Search
I remember being a sophomore in high school. Generally, I was a pretty good student. At that point in time, I wanted to pursue mechanical engineering. I don’t exactly know what I planned to do with that degree but I knew that I liked math, liked high paying jobs, and figured that the offers and money would eventually begin pouring into my lap. Turns out, that’s not how college works.
As I began my college search in the latter half of sophomore year, none of the schools I would search for on Google really fit what I was looking for. I eventually came to the realization that I was pursuing this career path because I felt pressured to study something in a STEM field, and of course, I wanted to be successful. So once again, I had that same question to answer.
Why did I pick the School of Journalism and Mass Communication?
I ended up taking classes in English and marketing because that’s where I was happiest in school. I found that I enjoy writing and learning about people. It wasn’t until a conversation with someone else that I chose to pursue it.
One afternoon somebody was talking about female journalists and sportscasters. I heard them say that that they did not think women did as well as men in this field. It was just their personal preference. But to me, that was a challenge.
“What do you mean you don’t think they are just as good as men?”
I didn’t immediately run with the idea of becoming a journalist or other communications professional; I did research on some of the most notable people in the field. Following a few current communications professionals on Twitter and Instagram was another way to get a glimpse into the career.
A Shift in Gears
Then began the college search all over again. This time I was more excited about it. The schools I looked at specialized in the areas I was interested in, but also gave me room to explore other interests. I looked mostly around the Midwest, places like Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, and lastly Des Moines.
Drake was not on my radar until a last minute panic about not having other options for school. I am pretty sure I applied in March or April, way after most other people. I thought I was already done with the college visits, but my mother insisted that I visit the school I was applying to if I thought it was a viable option.
The only day we were able to visit was the day before my senior prom, so it was rushed. Most college visits are a blur because they always show and tell you the same things about their universities. The only one I remember well is because of how especially terrible it was. Drake did well enough that I remembered some details and campus seemed fine. Now, I volunteer to give tours at Drake, hoping they aren’t forgetful like so many of mine.
Becoming a Drake Bulldog
I had finally narrowed I college search to two schools. One was an hour from home and Drake was five. The costs and scholarships I received at both schools were so close that I could not even use that as a deciding factor. When it came down to it, the week of decision day, I chose Drake because it would give me a different experience to me further from home.
I declared an Advertising and English double major near the end of my first year here. Since then I have been happier at school than I have ever been before. I am picking up real-life, valuable skills that I will be able to use in my future.
I no longer enjoy math because I lost interest while still in high school. There is one good thing that came from my interest in math, I took a dual credit math class in high school so I do not have to take on in college. I can focus on the classes that excite me and challenge me to be creative.