- Class: Sophomore
- Major: Journalism
- Gender: F
- High School: Blue Valley West High School
- Transfer Student: N
When I came to Mizzou, I thought everyone was going to know each other. I was quite wrong though; there are SO many out-of-staters, especially in the journalism school. I've met people who were born in Russia and people who live in Miami and people who live half an hour away from campus. It's really diverse. I was always worried the town would be small and boring, but it's really not. Columbia is amazing; downtown (known as "The District") is home to tons of really unique, locally owned shops, restaurants, galleries, bars, clubs, coffee shops and venues. I was really worried that I'd miss a lot of concerts by living in Columbia, but I've seen so many more. Since I'm right in between STL and KC, it's only and hour-two hours drive to either city to see whoever is playing. Even at that, plenty of bands stop at the Blue Note of Mojo's in Columbia or play the District's outdoor summer series on ninth street. So far I've had two big problems with Mizzou since I've been here. When one of my friends, a PA in one of the dorms on campus, was seriously depressed and cutting herself, it took me weeks to finally get her to go to the free counseling center on campus. When she finally went it in mid-November the center was full until half way through the following semester...unless she thought it was an emergency. Of course she didn't think it was an emergency, went home and considered killing herself. It was an awful time, but thankfully she had people to talk to, one of whom was her boss and residence hall coordinator. The dorms are the best place to find people to talk to; all the PAs and CAs hired and trained to work in the dorms are students going through the same thing and also trained to handle crises like that. Another problem I've had has been with my transcript. Since the university is quite large, there are departments upon departments with plenty of red tape to pass through. When I tried to sign up for my classes this semester, I was locked out of the system because I didn't have a graduation plan. The thing about my major, though, is that I'm pre-journalism right now, which means I'm not in the journalism department, but I can't file a plan with any other department. After calling ALL over campus, I finally talked to my adviser who helped me figure everything out. The thing I'll always remember is one of my very first days on campus. I ran through the columns, a Mizzou tradition upon entering the school, towards Jesse Hall in the mud with probably half of the freshman class. We ran to the other side where alumni handed us the famous Tiger Stripe ice cream. I then walked back to my dorm with a whole bunch of new friends...completely covered in mud. I absolutely cannot wait until I can put on my cap and gown and run away from Jesse Hall through the columns on graduation.
If you're looking for a competitive major, you should look at Journalism. The requirements to get into the school are a 3.0 GPA, but if you don't have a 3.3 and a great transcript, you might as well not apply. A lot of journalism majors drop out after the first couple classes, the weed-out classes. I've been quite tempted myself, just because the first four classes you HAVE to take (usually one a semester over four semesters, three semesters for those looking for a challenge) have very little to do with what you'll do in the j-school. Especially for those not going into broadcast or news writing, the first four classes and even a few once you're in the j-school have nothing to do with you're intended major. I'm a magazine design student, and there's nothing I've done or learned in my four semesters dealing with the area. I have a friend who is majoring in Peace Studies and Strategic Communications Journalism with a minor in International Relations. I work in the district where my boss graduated from Mizzou with an interdisciplinary major focusing in French, Psychology and English. It's entirely possible to major in pretty much anything. I've taken classes like "Contemporary Moral Issues," "Political Parties and Election Campaigns" and "American Visual Culture." I have a friend who is taken a class on Judaism and African American Folklore. I had another friend who took a sex-ed class and a pulp fiction class. Mizzou really wants students to have a well-rounded education outside of his or her major. You have to take an American Government class, a general math class, a general English composition class, and a capstone class. Sometimes this is a little frustrating; I've had to take classes that were very difficult and not interesting. Economics, biology lab and lecture, nutrition, survey of American lit., etc. But I've also taken some really interesting classes, and after I take those boring ones, I can move up into more in-depth classes.
From coming to Mizzou, I've learned a whole lot about cultures. My roommate, a black girl from an STL suburb in Illinois, and I became, what we like to call, roomies for life. Even though she lives on campus by herself and I live off campus by myself we always get together to do art projects or watch Oprah. I like punk rock and she likes hip hop; I've taught her about bands like IMAROBOT and she's taught me all about Kanye...but we've found common ground with Justin Timberlake. I taught her how to skank in a pit and she taught me how to walk it out in the clubs. There are a lot of sorority and fraternity members on campus, and you can usually tell who they are. The sorority girls usually wear Northface fleeces, PINK sweatpants tucked into their Ugg boots, and giant diamond or pearl earrings. The frat guys wear Northface fleeces, light-wash jeans and a baseball cap. But generally, they're all pretty nice, normal and studious. The one thing I have learned is that many of the stereotypes about the greek houses are quite true. Another piece of advice is to avoid Greek Town at all costs; very few greeks use the sidewalks or drive properly in that area...many cars will stop in the middle of the narrow roads because they want to chat with someone in the next car.
The Best Things
How small it can feel, how much the professors care and how cool the people are.
The Worst Things
That it's big, the communcation between deparments is super low.