An Unfulfilled Dream of J School and My Sojourn Out of State

By and

My intentions were simple. I wanted to be in a journalism school to study, well, journalism. Probably with a mass communication focus, but in essence, journalism. It’s what I do. It’s what I love.

This journalism school wouldn’t be just any school though. It would be a school that specialized in journalism?a big school.

Four years later, a four-digit job would follow. Shortly thereafter, a really good five digit job would follow. A few years after that, an unbelievably amazing seven digit job would be offered. Then retirement.

The plan went through my head as a high school senior (not the smartest one at that, mind you), and I was accepted to the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Not bad for a 2.8 GPA, 23 ACT student.

So my first two years weren’t terrible. Went through the whole “weird, stranger roommate” thing. (Mine was very shy when awake, but he let it out when he was sleeping.)

I lived a pretty great post parents life. Made some great friends, went to some great parties and went through the motions of a college student.

Well, one of those motions was the continued hope to get into the journalism school. I was eligible after my first 15 credits were completed, so I walked to the school and picked up an application. Brought it back, filled it out, wrote my letter, got my three references and brought it back. I had aced my first journalism class. Getting into the “J-School” would be a piece of cake, I thought.

That was one nasty piece of cake.

The taste was bad from start to finish (and beyond). The moment I turned in the application, I began a two month waiting period, only to later look at the list and not be on it. Next year, I thought.

So my sophomore year followed, and I applied again. I was told to take the Principles of Advertising course, and if I do well in it, I would get into the J-School.

I couldn’t have gotten a higher grade. I scored second in the 130- person class (actually, 23 of us had the same score, but alphabetically it worked to my advantage). Day after the class ended, my name was not on the acceptance list.

Second semester rolled around and again, for the third time, I attempted the application process. By this point, I was really tired of the “why do you want to study in the journalism school?” question. I knew I was getting in by this point. I had been promised by one of the deans. I was a shoe-in.

So I planned my acceptance party. Invited all of my friends to my dorm the day after my name would finally appear on the list. And I would register for all of those great journalism classes that I could finally take.

That morning I biked down to the J-School (got sick of walking). List won’t be up until noon, I was told.

So I biked back to my dorm.

Then at noon, I walked to the J-school (my roommate needed his bike). There was the list.

I would have asked for a copy, had my name been on it.

On my way out, I slammed my fist against the wall. Now every time I type on my keyboard, that scar on my hand reminds me of my failure to get into journalism school.

That afternoon, I decided it wasn’t worth the out-of-state tuition to continue living a dream that would not come true.

Are you crying yet?

Didn’t think so.

Adjusting has been a difficult struggle for me. Even after the excruciatingly long and painful orientation that was about seven hours too long, I wasn’t ready to transfer home. I had found my niche at CU, even though I hadn’t found it at their J-School.

There are many differences. The University of Colorado is a bit larger. I had a lot of friends on campus because most lived in student housing. There were wide open fields for frequent Frisbee games on Friday afternoons (okay?every afternoon). Their Latter-day Saint Institute building is about as big as my old dorm room. And at CU, I could flirt with any girl I wanted without first checking for a wedding ring.

But here at the U, I write for the largest newspaper on campus, I am studying mass communication and journalism in a department that I can only assume is better than CU’s, and I get to graduate a semester early because I decided I want to work my butt off in school this summer.

Am I bitter that I didn’t get into the J-School?

No, I am not writing this article to vent about my frustrations with the University of Colorado. I wrote it because my editor asked me to.

Transferring to the U has been for the best. I’m at home now, with free housing (the comfort of my own bedroom), free food (all I have to do is go shopping with my mom), free friends (there’s no charge here in Utah) and about a 90 percent decrease in tuition (Dad’s on faculty).

I’m not bitter, don’t worry. If I were to clip a copy of this article and send it to the University of Colorado Journalism School, I would be practicing bad journalism and wouldn’t really be worthy of a journalism degree in the first place.

But they already knew that, right?

Christopher welcomes feedback at [email protected], even if you don’t find him funny.