This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Story by Carly Belin

When I first came to the University of Oregon, I was just an average, awkward 18-year-old. I had visions in my head of what college would be like, based on what I’d seen in movies and heard from my parents. But nothing could truly prepare me for my first day of class and the profound impact it would have on my life.

Like many freshmen, I had no idea what I wanted to study in school. After a quick chat about my interests during IntroDucktion, an advisor suggested I take an 8:30 a.m. class called J-201. He described it as an introductory class to the world of journalism and communication. Even though the early timeslot and advisor’s overwhelming peppiness made me uneasy, I decided to register anyway.

My alarm went off at 7 a.m. for my very first college lecture. Nerves bubbling in my stomach like a shaken soda, I strolled through campus, right up to the big glass doors of Allen Hall. I took one final deep breath before yanking the door open and finding a seat in Allen 221.

Suddenly, I was learning about the principles of journalism, advertising and public relations. I was comparing successful and failed advertisements. I was learning the history of print journalism and reading pieces written by the greats. I was engaging with the professor and other students on social media.

I was a part of something innovative, something I knew I belonged to.

Like clockwork, the pieces began to fall in place. Journalism was something I was interested in all along, I just didn’t know it. My passion for theater and performing transformed into an appreciation of filming and editing. My love of high school English classes made me excited to write even more in the School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC). My eagerness for networking opportunities made public relations seem thrilling. Everything I’d ever dreamed of being suddenly seemed possible when I walked into the doors of that J-201 class.

As a junior at the University of Oregon, I’m still just an average, awkward 20-year-old. But now I have a passion that lights a fire in me every time I step into the classroom, one that’s driving my every move. I’m a proud journalism major, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.


Carly Belin is a junior from San Diego, Calif. She is studying journalism with a focus on broadcasting. This is her third term interning for the SOJC Communications Office. She is also a producer for UO’s student-run television program, DuckTV News.