Photo by Jess Lynk | Editor-in-chief
BY ANNA JENSEN
I am one of those Chicago Bus Trip students. I still talk about it — I loved it. It was my first visit to Drake and it offered a new perspective to the average college tour.
But, I thought when you stepped on a college campus you would just know if that was the one. I had been on at least six college visits before Drake, and I didn’t have that feeling. I also didn’t have that feeling when I left Drake’s campus in the morning after the bus trip.
When I was on the trip, I met with David Wright, a former associate dean of the school of journalism and mass communication and an associate professor of electronic media. He told me there were multiple opportunities to get involved digitally and journalistically on campus. He invited me back during the Drake Relays and said he would take me behind the scenes so that I could see the broadcast students at work.
I thought, if that didn’t solidify my decision, then Drake likely wasn’t the place for me.
To be fair, Wright gave me this opportunity because I thought I was interested in broadcast journalism during my senior year of high school. I am now at the end of my sophomore year with two majors in the J-school. Neither of them are broadcast.
I also don’t enjoy video too much — I prefer words.
Nonetheless, I came back for Relays. Wright took my mom and I into the production and broadcast booth, and I got to man a camera during one of the races on the top of the stadium. All of the journalism students I met with talked about all of the fantastic opportunities they received through the J-school and how they jumped right into their involvements their first semester of their first year.
It was more than just the tour of the stadium that changed my mind about Drake’s placement on my college-ranking list. It was the traditions, the school spirit and the people.
Sometimes touring a school at the height of activity can be misleading. I could have left Drake thinking paint fights happened every week and music was always playing from Helmick Commons. I could have seen the 40,000 people that were roaming the outskirts of campus and thought that was permanent. But, that didn’t play into my decision. I left on a rainy Sunday afternoon, and I remember the conversations I had with students and the stories they shared.
I thought that, one year later, I could be participating in the fun traditions at Drake during Relays Week, but I could also be involved in the school paper and other clubs on campus that will further my professional aspirations.
Two years to the date of that visit, I can confidently say that Drake has done both of those things for me. Last year, I helped out on the field at the Drake Relays. And this year I have helped put out the 40-page Relays issue of The Times-Delphic.
If I didn’t tour during Relays and see the role the J-school students played in the Relays, I may very well be at Mizzou or DePaul. Even though my journalistic abilities aren’t utilized the same way I thought I would use them in the Drake Relays, it was the knowledge that they could be that made Drake so alluring.
I spent the long six-hour drive back to Grayslake, Illinois, wondering if I had actually made up my mind. Even though I didn’t vocally declare my decision until May, I knew that day in late April that I would be furthering my education at Drake.