Make The Most of It – From a Graduating Senior

By: Julia Dolinshek

(Photo by: Jennifer Dolinshek)

Some may say that college is the best four years of your life, and others may argue that it is the most confusing and chaotic. As a senior in college, I have experienced a little bit of both.

A Fresh and Exciting New Beginning

Coming into college, I was excited, optimistic about the future, and eager. As time goes on throughout these four years, challenges are to come. Burnout is expected, as well as unexpected events. Pushing through college as a UNCW COM student has been one of the best experiences I have had so far.

As a freshman in college, I was unsure of specifics when it came to college, but I always knew I wanted to attend. Education was important to me and the future that I dreamed of. Beginning with the basic classes, I had many ideas circulating around my mind as to what path I wanted to go down. Experimenting with different courses helped lead me to the major I chose: Communication Studies.

(Photo by: Jennifer Dolinshek)

The Possibilities of Communication Studies

When I decided to take the beginner COM course, I was unsure of the opportunities and experiences that a major in COM could provide for me. I learned that COM can be useful in many career paths, including marketing. Marketing and social media advertising have always sparked my interest. As I grew in my major and began to take higher-level courses, I was able to gain knowledge and skills from the Integrated Marketing Communication courses that were offered. I obtained so many helpful lessons such as how to reach your intended target audience, design skills, writing skills, and how to market throughout social media platforms. These skills have been extremely useful throughout my marketing internship, and the current job I hold now. The education I was provided will also smoothly guide me through any future jobs I will hold.

Expect The Unexpected

I feel greatly prepared for my future after graduation with the education that I have received. It hasn’t always been an easy journey, though. Unexpected events should always be expected. The COVID-19 pandemic is something I never thought I would have to experience. For it to happen during my college career made it even more difficult. I was a sophomore when the pandemic struck, and I was unsure of what the future would hold. Online classes were put into place, which was a new experience for me after having the majority of my classes held on campus. UNCW and the COM department as a whole took great precautions and steps in order to keep students safe as well as get them the best education they possibly could have received. Classes were held via Zoom, but I still felt a sense of community and togetherness throughout the whole experience. The COM professors made it easy and worked around difficult circumstances. They were there for the students who needed extra assistance to be successful. We were still able to work as teams and collaborate effectively. I believe that everyone worked strongly as a team in order for us to get to the point we are at now. Without the motivation and drive from my professors and fellow classmates within the COM department, I wouldn’t have made it successfully. Although attending college during a pandemic isn’t an ideal option for most, UNCW made it possible for me to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Get Involved and Make the Most of it

For any pre-COM or current COM students reading, I encourage you to make the most out of your major. There are various opportunities and ways to get involved within the Communication Studies program.  The opportunities provided will not only assist your future self but will also allow you to experience and grow with many other students who are in the same position as you. UNCW is a great place to be and also a great place to learn.

These four years will go by fast, and then onto the real world. College is a time to experience new things, express yourself, and make an impact. Although I am sad to see this chapter of life come to an end, I am hopeful and excited for the future. Make the most of your time, take advantage of the countless opportunities and assistance, and have fun! I am grateful and thankful to have made it through this far, and I couldn’t have done it alone. Congrats to the class of 2022!

(Photo by: Jennifer Dolinshek)