When it comes to talking about my college years, I probably could go on for hours. There are so many stories, so many memories and so many meaningful experiences, it is difficult to even know where to begin. However, as a first semester senior in 2019, college has truly been a whirlwind of an experience.
I committed to Hofstra University in March of 2016. The university is close to the city, has that campus feel, is inclusive to all students and presents a great program for my current and future endeavors in journalism. My religion is a huge part of my life, so it was important to me that Hofstra had ways for me to express myself in that regard. I was excited to start on the journalism path and finally take classes that were useful to my career. No more long days of math and science. What was even better about starting at Hofstra, is that I did not have to wait until I was older to start exploring the skills and classes needed in my field. I started taking journalism classes my first semester of freshman year. It is a little funny because as a first semester senior, I’m not even taking any journalism classes.
It is always interesting to reflect on how far I have come from that first semester three years ago, especially in terms of communication. Communication is clearly one of the key factors needed to fully adhere to the lifestyle of a journalist and not having a presence on social media is not really an option anymore. Social media was obviously popular in 2016, but it is even crazier how much more a phenomenon it has become in 2019. My assignments in class still relate to news or other things happening in our world, but I can get that news right at my fingertips. I even took a class on how to be more proficient in social media. It included things like the best algorithms for posting content, which platform is best for certain things and how users really should be engaged with their audience. This class was added during my time in school and became more popular since the world of communication is constantly changing. It is super beneficial that Hofstra added classes to go along with what is happening in society and it helped me expand my knowledge as a journalist.
Senior year is a whirlwind. While everyone thinks it might be something easy, more relaxed, or not as stressful, this is not the case. As a senior I am still taking 15 credits of academic classes, one credit of an internship, while also involving myself in four different clubs and organizations on campus. The more difficult part is, I finished the classes needed for my major, minor, and overall general education requirements. My last two semesters involve taking classes strictly for liberal arts credit. These classes are not related to my career and at this point it is hard to be enthusiastic about random classes. Being a senior has its perks too. It was easy to create a schedule where I was able to intern and complete that requirement while also gaining more experience and learning more about the journalism world. I also have an easier time choosing professors and times for classes because I’ve been doing it for the past three years.
Overall, I think being a senior now is different than it was previously. While there is still pressure to be successful right after college, I feel that the pressure has been minimized. People, including myself, are taking the time to think about where they want their life to go next. It might be graduate school, it may be a job, it may be taking time off to save up money or deciding that now is the best time to travel. I think the important part is that the choice is all up to the individual at hand. Being a senior is scary because it means the real world that everyone has talked about for so long is looming nearer and nearer, but being in college during this time has helped me grow and experience life in a way that I would not have had, had I been on a different path.
Courtney Shapiro is a contributing writer for Anton Media Group.