On My (Last) Last Day of Class…

Today is my last day of class, ever. To some, today would be a sigh of relief, a long-awaited ending, or a celebration of accomplishment, but I can’t help but feel a little disappointed that the semester is coming to a close. Of course, it wasn’t supposed to end like this, but even so, if I had the chance to do it all over again (crises and all) I’d take it in a heartbeat. 

About a year ago I was registering for my first semester of senior year. There was this class in the J school that everyone raved about, and being offered exclusively in the fall, this was my last chance. The only problem was it was a three-hour class starting at 5:00 p.m., which honestly sounded miserable to me at the time. 

After reassurance from several friends that it was worth it, I decided to register and managed to get a seat (which is a real accomplishment if you know anything about course registration at UNC). I figured I could drop it if it interfered with my schedule too much, but knew I’d regret it if I didn’t at least give it a shot. 

The class was New Media Technologies, and just one lecture proved to me that this would be the best sequence of my college career. Our professor, Gary Kayye, is one of the best out there and has deeply impacted my journey. Each class, he kept me engaged throughout the entire 180 minutes and taught me things I will carry with me undoubtedly through the rest of my life. 

Those three hours were ones that I looked forward to and got me through the week. If I was having a tough day, I could always count on that lecture to help me forget about it and alleviate some of my stress. 

College survival tip #17: Take classes that interest you and forget about all the consequences. These are the ones that will push you past your boundaries and uncover your passions. 

I’m a firm believer in doing something because you want to, not because it’s more convenient or will earn you more money, especially when it comes to selecting classes. Despite a commonly held misconception, going to class shouldn’t always be a chore.

I’m still not exactly sure where I’ll be post-grad, but I’m completely confident that these last four years have cultivated a love for the media industry and storytelling within me. I know that whatever job I end up in, it’ll be doing something that excites me. 

The classes I’ve taken in the Hussman School of Journalism and Media have been ones I genuinely enjoyed, and everyone deserves that. College is supposed to be tough, but I don’t see why it has to be pulling your hair out, hating your life 24/7. 

I’m not saying the past four years were all sunny days for me, I certainly had my fair share of mental breakdowns and late nights in the library that made me question if this was even worth it. But at the end of the day, having courses you love – even if it’s just one in a semester – makes all of the lows feel so insignificant in the long run.

I feel incredibly lucky, because I think classes and professors this good are extremely rare. But I also know that you’ll never find these types of classes if you don’t let your heart lead the way. 

This is my last official blog that I’m required to write for Gary’s class, though I’ve loved this assignment so much that I intend to keep it up. I think when you start doing a homework assignment for fun, that’s clearly indicative that something somewhere must’ve gone right. 

There will always be classes you don’t like and professors you don’t agree with, but you’ll forget about those a few years down the road. The ones like these, that have taught you more than you could ever ask, you’ll remember for a lifetime.