October 2020

College Reflection

Cameron Edward Slate.

       College has permanently changed my life. The main reason I decided to enroll in college is because I wanted to make a name for myself. I don’t have a very large family; so doing something like accomplishing college would mean a lot to us all. By making a name for myself, I mean not having to rely on my family for help with paying bills, scheduling appointments, making overall good decisions or saving money. I knew early on that I wanted to attend a university and really put myself in a situation to succeed with the skill that I would acquire. That and the fact that there has been a little more outside pressure over the last decade on getting a college degree in order to be successful. 

I was mostly expecting high school, but with far less rules. I was expecting the normal school routine of waking up every morning to go to class, getting some homework done, and just waiting patiently for the long school day to be over. Then there is the less rules part. I knew I was going to be going out with friends and paying little money for disgusting mixed drinks at least a couple times a week. So in saying that, I think I was pretty spot on with that aspect. What I didn’t expect was to make so many new friends that I can count on to help me in life. These new friends have gone through the same process I have at UW-Whitewater, so there is an understanding and almost a respect that is different from the friends I grew up with. 

I really didn’t expect to be that involved on campus either. I was a member of the Whitewater Advertising Association for 2 years, played a handful of different intramural sports, was the Public Relations Manager for the Students Allied for a Greener Earth organization for a year, and participated in radio and television for all three of my years on campus. It’s because of these different organizations and activities that I’ve met so many great friends and harnessed the necessary skills to have a career after college, and one that I enjoy. The classes I enrolled in were all challenging in their own way, but another thing I didn’t account for before attending college was how much time I had to set aside in order to stay on schedule. Being a journalism major was very demanding and I realized that very quickly. Journalism is unique in that it asks us to be a more well-rounded worker. Journalism isn’t just writing like many think it is. I had to learn how to operate a videocamera, operate a switchboard, and understand each of those mediums individually in order to execute them correctly.  

I am very grateful and proud that I graduated with a journalism degree. I’ve had the pleasure of being in front of and behind a camera on live television. I’ve been able to watch UW-Whitewaters’ sports teams win conference and national championships and I’ve even received a few awards in my respective field. Those are memories that I will never forget, and the things that will help me make a name for myself. There is no better feeling than seeing your name on the lower thirds during a live television broadcast, then having your friends and family congratulate you. I have always wanted to be in front of a camera and speak to the people. My true passion is sports, but now that I have gathered some better experience in other areas of journalism like newspaper formats and interviewing people of importance, I can do many different things. One of the most important things I’ve learned while at college is how to market myself and using better time management. It is important in any job to know your worth, but it’s even more important to put in the work of making allies and trying to make yourself known. 

The lifestyle I lived while at college shaped me into the person I am now, four years later. I got into the habit of getting up early every morning before class and having a nice breakfast. It wasn’t always a big breakfast, but it was something. Little things like not spending money on food every day and setting aside enough time to complete simple tasks that usually get pushed off, have shaped me into a more punctual and confident person. I now know what I’m capable of, and that is a powerful characteristic to have. I also think that I have gotten a good idea on how to think about issues or topics from all angles. Journalism has made me less bias and has provided me with the ability to think for myself. I haven’t really had a change in political views since attending college, but the way I think about people and life has changed a little bit. I have made a deep connection with our beautiful planet and everything it has to offer and have taken a liking to doing things to keep it from crumbling. I have joined advocate groups that are centered around learning about how to be more sustainable and less wasteful, which has been humbling. I am now able to better understand different policies that make it to the White House regarding clean energy and sustainability. That is important for me as I am a registered voter and a true advocate for local and national policy. 

I would like to think that I would do everything all over again. Being a journalism major has turned me into a more well-rounded reporter and a true professional. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some very important people in the Illinois and Wisconsin area. Some of them professional athletes, other have been political figures, and most of them have been other journalists like myself. The different kinds of advice given to me from teachers and other professionals has been great and something that I will always remember. Graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater will be the greatest accomplishment of my life thus far. Once I hear my name being called over the speakers in the Kachel Fieldhouse and I receive my diploma, I will know that I have truly made a name for myself. 

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