The University of Oregon has given me a lot of things: lasting memories of going to a sporting event or nights out, beautiful scenery right outside my apartment, the best friends in the whole world, but, most importantly, UO has given me a space to find my passion.
When I came to the university as an 18-year-old freshman in 2017, I was undeclared but leaning towards biology because growing up I loved animals and had a lot of experience volunteering at an animal shelter and a museum. Also, everyone in my life told me that biology was the "perfect major for me," so I gave in and listened to them. Cut to not even a year later, and I had earned a C and D in my introductory chemistry classes. I figured that going the biology route was not for me because there was no way I was going to pass the chemistry sequence. So, I switched majors from undeclared to media studies and cinema studies, which is what I am graduating with now. I still remember the moment I chose to switch and the immediate weight that was lifted off of my shoulders. I felt free.
I started taking classes and learning about the world of journalism and film. I fell in love with the art of filmmaking and what being a journalist actually means. I knew that when I switched majors, I would not have any experience in either journalism, social media or film to show on my resume — so I went searching around campus to find opportunities. That's when I came across KWVA, and soon after, the Daily Emerald.
KWVA gave me a space to talk about one of my other passions: Marvel Studios and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. KWVA also taught me about broadcasting and the radio, and it has been incredible to see my show’s success since I started. It makes me really happy to know that people want to hear what I have to say.
I came into the Emerald in January 2020 as a junior, knowing that I wanted to do something on social media after college because of the amount of time I spend on it. I started as a social media producer for our Twitter accounts and learned the mechanics behind social media management.
It wasn't easy, especially since I joined during the busiest week of the term, but I got the hang of it eventually. After being promoted to Senior Media Producer in August and then to Engagement Editor in December, I have now gotten the opportunity to lead my own group of creative and inspiring students who want to increase our engagement and promote our reporters' amazing work. The Emerald has given me a place to discover a new passion of mine — social media — and a place to further build my skills. I know what I want to do post-graduation because of my experience at the Emerald.
Not only did KWVA and the Emerald give me spaces to discover what I really love, but both organizations also made me feel like I belonged at UO. Before I joined, I felt lost and, even after two years at the school, I still was not sure if UO was the place for me. Since I joined KWVA and the Emerald, my life has gotten exponentially better. I now am sure that I made the right choice in choosing to go here.
So, thanks to UO, KWVA and the Emerald for helping me find my place in the world. I will always leave a piece of my heart in Oregon.