People always say to savor your time in college, that it’ll be over before you know it. It feels like ages ago, yet somehow like it was yesterday, that I was sobbing in my parents’ arms before they left to go back to Michigan after moving me into the University Center my freshman year. College truly is a “blink, and you’ll miss it” experience, but I didn’t realize how accurate that was until sitting down to write this column.
When I first moved to Chicago, I was unsure about pretty much everything. I was seemingly alone in a vast city, with only a few friends, convinced I was in over my head pursuing a cinema art and science degree.
But friends like Ethan Anderson, Jake Esposito, Jared Leighton and many others became my second family. They were my support during that terrifying first year of college, filled with uncertainty and anxiety. I tell everyone in Michigan that Chicago is my second home, and all of you are the reason—thank you for that.
I think about how far I’ve come and how, at first, I didn’t even know I wanted to pursue journalism. It wasn’t until the end of my freshman year that I realized how much I did not particularly enjoy screenwriting, and after that, I decided to give journalism a try. My “Introduction to Journalism” class was an awakening for me—I was hooked; my love for journalism even prompted me to shift the focus of my major from narrative to documentary filmmaking.
That passion for journalism was sparked by Jackie Spinner, an associate professor in the Communication Department, who has guided me through every journalism class I have taken and, truthfully, taught me everything I know. She was one of the best mentors and teachers I have ever had, and there is not enough space in this column to express how grateful I am for everything she has done for me.
To be successful in your major at Columbia, you need to do more than go to class. In my opinion, growth and comfort cannot coexist; therefore, you must act on every opportunity presented to you.
The Chronicle is more than just an outlet to get a few extra bylines for my portfolio before graduation. The Chronicle is a place that encourages its employees to have the drive to challenge what needs to be challenged and answer the questions that need to be answered.
Being a small part of such a dedicated newsroom that is always hungry to do good journalism was both inspiring and informative. More than ever before, I feel like a real reporter, and I know that the work I did at this publication is some of the best I have done at Columbia.
Although it is saddening to be graduating and the future is a little daunting, I can confidently say that I made the most of my time at Columbia. This institution transformed me from someone full of doubt into a creative professional—more confident than ever before that I am on the right path in life, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.