At the risk of sounding overly cliché, these past four years have flown by. I’ll be the first to admit that I did not fall in love with UNCW the moment I stepped on campus. Deciding to go to college here was a risk; it was the furthest I had ever been from home and I only knew one other person in a sea of 13,000. I started as a film major, but quickly realized there was more I wanted to get out of my college experience. I never fully understood what Communication Studies was, but decided to give COM 105 a shot. Taking that class sophomore year made me realize I was where I was meant to be. I became a double-major and never looked back.
My best piece of advice to anyone beginning their journey at UNCW would be to get involved. I found the Association for Campus Entertainment at the very beginning of my freshmen year and I can honestly say it changed my life. This student organization shaped me into the leader I am today and provided me with the home and family I never knew I was missing. Planning events for students on campus was the highlight of my college career. Also, I got to meet Jesse McCartney—if my middle school self could see me now, she’d faint.
Besides ACE, I was also a member of the Club Field Hockey team and an employee of Campus Recreation. UNCW has so much to offer and I am so thankful I got the chance to experience so much.
Senior year may be fast-approaching for you, or a million miles away, but here are some last minute thoughts and pieces of advice to make the most of your time here:
- Take advantage of UNCW’s internship programs. I did three internships throughout my time here and I loved every single one of them. Through the Film Department, I was able to work at Screen Gems Studios here in town and spend a summer interning at a production studio in Los Angeles. With COM, I worked at the Wilson Center downtown.
- Find the student org that’s right for you. There are hundreds of student organizations on UNCW’s campus, and if you don’t find one you want to join, you can make one yourself! No only will you make some incredible friends, you’ll also find clubs that allow you to utilize skills you’ve learned in your classes. I used skills from my IMC classes every day with my positions in ACE.
- Get out of your comfort zone. There are definitely days where I just wanted to sit inside and binge the entirety of Grey’s Anatomy (which I did freshman year, don’t judge), but take a leap every once in a while. I would have never spent the summer in LA if I stayed in my comfort zone.
- ELECTIVES! The one thing I wish I could have done, but didn’t have the space in my schedule for, was take more classes that were not directly tied to my majors. If you have the space, give it a shot! You could even take some courses outside of your focus in the COM Department and broaden your horizons. My favorite part about COM is how versatile and expansive it is–take advantage of that!
- Take in a sunrise or two. What’s the one thing we talk about the most in relation to UNCW? How close we are to the beach! Take advantage of Wrightsville Beach’s beauty and see the sun rise over the ocean.
UNCW has changed my life in the best possible way and it is going to be hard to leave.