The Course That Might Have Changed My Life

College courses can be weird.

Every semester, students sit down at their computers to register for courses.  Once you get your final schedule set in place, some might start to think, ‘Why do I need to take this course?  How will it help me in the long run?’  You really go into the next semester blind.  What will the workload be like?  How will the professor be?  Nice?  Mean?  Crazy?  I usually think, “My grade, my future, is not only in my hands but it’s really in the hands of my professor.”  What if I write an opinion paper that goes every-which-way against what my professor believes?  Will my grade reflect that?  Usually, professors like different types of writing styles.  Will I need to adapt to a new style?

After thinking of these for weeks, the first day of a new semester begins and you get that syllabus in your hands.  Rules rules rules rules rules and a bunch of work.  You can feel the air in the room become more dense and a heavy sigh comes from the mouths of most of the students.

I just recalled what happened in my Journalism 200 course this past semester.  The dense air could be because the room was in the basement of Morrill Hall but the syllabus was huge and filled with assignments.  The professor came off as a little tough and told us how she expected us to work hard at this course.  It was a W course too.  You know, just to add to the stress of  walking into an entirely new concept of college courses.  As a video major, I haven’t written a proper paper in years, yet alone an article.

Then, day number two arrived and everything took a 180.

The professor was instantly nicer, the lecture was fun, and the first assignment was handed in with confidence.  Writing that first article was like riding a bike.  I knew then that this course was something special.  You only get one of them every few years:  A course that you look at afterwards and know that it will be a course you will never forget.

Not only will this be a course that I will never forget, but it could be a course that changed my entire life.

It’s funny to write that but it is because of that professor and that course which changed my mind about my career.  I wanted to go into media business and broadcast video.  After writing about twelve articles, I put two and two together:  My love for writing and my love for news.  And out came a career change to journalism.

I went into the Journalism 200 course looking for a W credit and came out with the idea to add a BA in Journalism to my college resume.  The good thing is, I’m almost done with my Communication major.  I still have plenty of university requirements and now all I need is nine courses in journalism to get that degree.

By the way, that professor is Helen Bennett (no relation).  It’s because of her class that I have chosen a different career path and it couldn’t have come a moment too soon.  From the brutal revisions to the encouraging emails, Professor Bennett, in just one semester, could have changed my college experience, career, and eventually my life.

It just goes to show that patience and perseverance is a virtue and that one class you may think is awful, pointless and a waste of time at first could just end up being the one course in college you will never regret taking.

-Chris

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