The Power of Everyone

When I first arrived at UNCW in the fall of 2009, I had plans to study film, graduate in four years, and fulfill my dream of being a Hollywood director making summer blockbusters about robots and aliens. Needless to say, that never happened. I added on a Communication Studies degree halfway through my freshman semester, and once I took my first Film Studies class, I realized that what I thought I wanted to do wasn’t what I really wanted to do. I quickly dropped film and focused on Communication Studies. I took it one step further and picked up Business as a second major with a concentration in Marketing.

I had the mindset that all of these requirements would be completed in four years. However, I found out during my advising session this semester that while it was possible to graduate in May of 2013 with two degrees, it would be packed, busy, and difficult. Another option was to graduate with only a Communication Studies degree and graduate early in December of 2012. I had a decision to make: should I drop my Business degree and graduate ahead of my class, or grit my teeth and struggle through a non-stop senior year?

I asked around, looking for advice, trying to find someone who had or was currently in a similar situation. Unfortunately, no one I talked to could relate. It became a haunting thought, knowing that I would have to make a life changing decision on my own without receiving advice from anyone who had made that same decision. There was one place I did find my answers though: Online.

I wrote a short submission about my degree dilemma and posted to a few online forums. This is where I found my answer.  Users from all over the world sent me responses with their personal testimonies regarding their decision to stay in school and earn a second degree. What I found to be even more fascinating is the medium that I was using portrayed the same concept that I was studying: Communication.

Recently in our IMC II class we finished reading Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing without Organizations. I have never been able to relate more to a book than after consulting with strangers on the Internet about college decisions. Everything that I had studied and learned was being exemplified right in front of me.

After posting, Googling, tweeting, and searching, I came to the conclusion I should stay in school as long as I can and take my time to earn my second degree. My consultants on the web advised me that they never regretted staying to earn another degree, and that there is absolutely no rush to get out into the “real world”. My decision was made. I wouldn’t graduate early and I wouldn’t take on too much. Instead, I added on an extra semester to balance out my time and my required classes, making my graduation date Fall of 2013. Looking back, I believe it will be one of the best decisions I could have ever made, and it would not have been possible without the “everyone” of the Internet.

– Hunter Wilson