Illustration by Tiffani Nelson
When I graduated high school I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do in life, but I knew that I wanted a bachelor’s degree. I thought about a couple of different majors, but I always came back to something in writing.
I thought about being an English major, but I was intimidated that my only job would be as an English teacher. I always loved literature, but I saw my teachers in high school having trouble reaching kids with the literary arts. I didn’t want to find myself on the other side of that.
What did I expect out of college? Well, I expected more parties, events and groups of friends. I guess you could say I was looking for more socialization. I tried to seize every opportunity to talk with other students, but as I leave as an alumnus, I leave with strong acquaintances at best.
During my academic career here at Kent State, I attended multiple campuses. I started at Kent State Stark, because I live in Canton, then I started commuting to the Kent campus.
I feel like commuters are very underrepresented, and the university never really did much to aid us, whether it be financially or just better parking. Every day I drove to the Kent campus. It took me about 45 minutes to get there. That was only going one way. I like to drive, but the commute wears down the best of us.
As I’m sure is the same with many other college students, I struggled financially throughout pursuing my bachelor’s degree. It is not always easy to put the last of your money into gas so that you can attend a class rather than eat lunch. The amount of sacrifice of social life and life events pursuing a degree requires alluded me until my junior year.
I was a journalism major up until my senior year, then I switched to a communications major. I was intimidated by the amount of opportunity a journalism degree seemed to offer. I did not want to find myself down the road working at a downsizing newspaper and be the next on the budget cut. I decided to keep my options open, as there are still so many different things I want to do with my life. One of my favorite things about being a journalist is that you don’t need a degree that specifically states “journalism.”
I learned so much about journalism from the many amazing teachers here at Kent State (Stark and Kent campus). One of the things I learned is that journalists are journalists, because they seek information and want to deliver it to their audience. You do not need to specifically subscribe to a major or anything really for that matter. I went into journalism with a very black and white view of what journalism meant, but as I come out, I leave with a more thorough understanding in my opinion.
Definitely one of the best parts about going to college for me has been working in student media. I would say I found my place in college when I started as a blogger here at The Burr. I believe it is very enriching, and you will find yourself surrounded by very ambitious and determined people.
I would not say that college is for everybody, especially talking in a structural sense, but I do think everybody should strive to seek higher education in their own way after high school or a GED. It is and has been a privilege to attend university. I truly hope that all those who stick with college find what they are looking for, even if it isn’t what they thought they initially wanted.
All in all, my pursuit of higher education has been worth it in both experience and opportunities. I do not think that I got what I expected out of college, but I got what I needed to successfully start a new chapter in my life.
One of my biggest accomplishments, and maybe the product I am most proud of, in college has been the publishing of some of my poetry. I leave you all with a poem, and I wish you well in life’s endeavors.
Expectations, but none of my own.
A need for something better, something different, you’re not alone.
A change in pace, a frame of thought.
To bury the hatchet, to tie the knot.
You meant something else
Now you are just another notch upon my belt
Can you really be for me, what others could not see?
A time investment, a force of my life.
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