Grace Austin

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‘Cat Counsel: Getting involved

One OHIO senior goes from intimidated to involved

I was afraid. Not in a terrifying, scary movie way, but a pit-at-the bottom of your stomach/nagging in the back of your mind fear. This fear grew and grew until I was almost a senior, looking down at a blank resume and a gnawing dread that I may be need to work at the local Taco Bell after graduation. 

As a magazine journalism major in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, I came to college focused and concentrated on my studies.

Growing up, I was the little girl who enjoyed watching the nightly news. I emulated the TV reporters who were sent to exotic locations to write hard-hitting stories on war-torn nations and refugees.

Something happened, though, when I began classes. I saw the eager students who couldn’t wait to get involved, who spoke, and sometimes it felt practically lectured, in class, and took advantage of all the forums to write and speak their mind that OHIO has to offer.

And, I was intimidated.

I questioned my writing talent, and I was intimidated by being young and relatively inexperienced as a real writer. So, I threw myself into my social activities and neglected my portfolio and the professional experience I needed to actually obtain a job after college.

As I saw more and more of my peers obtaining exciting internships in major cities, I became jealous. But, more than that, the worry and fear of having a pitiful resume after I graduated finally impelled me to get involved.

I began to involve myself in activities relative to my major. One organization was the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ). This was an association that connected me with other people in my field, making it a possible networking opportunity.

I later joined an honors society that showed my academic achievement. While I’ve always maintained relatively high grades, being officially recognized by a national honors organization showed off my hard work even more.

I  stepped forward to hold a leadership position in my sorority. I never fully understood how much potential employers look for leadership qualities until I began interviewing for internships and jobs. With more than 350 groups on campus, it is not difficult to find a position that suits you; but you must be available to devote time to it.

And more important than any of these, I began to write. Writing is what I love to do and what I want to make a career of after I graduate. For any major, I would suggest getting experience doing exactly what you want to do in your chosen field.

Everyone knows the horror stories of people caught up in a major they hate. Especially for those in your first and second years, you need to see if you actually want to do what you’re spending so much time and money on to learn. 

OHIO has so many opportunities to participate in campus life and organizations to get involved in, that makes it easy for students to do so.

As underclassmen, or even upperclassmen, don’t be afraid to take advantage of these opportunities. New situations and new responsibilities are scary—but don’t let them keep you from having a fulfilling college experience.