Journalism, Ohio University

I’m in the right place

Courtesy of Nicole Kleinas

It’s come to the time where I am starting to get phone calls, texts, Facebook messages and even care packages from those who I have left behind in Gaylord. Although the conversations are different, the fundamental questioning remains the same.

It starts off with a “So, how are you liking Ohio? Is it weird being away from home?”

The answer I generally throw out there is that OU is really good. I like it here. It really is a great place to live. In many ways it reminds me of Gaylord. Rolling hills, a lot of green and plenty of open space give me the feeling that I’m really not all that far from the town that I call home.

Except for the fact that I am.

A typical second question would be hinting at why I’m not ranting and raving about how utterly amazing it is to be a Bobcat and how I must absolutely love the place.

The more I think about it, the more I come up with better answers. I really do love Athens. It is a great town with an even better personality — quite possibly the perfect college town, for lack of a better adjective.

On the same note, though, I don’t go spouting off to everyone who’ll listen about how I am totally googly-eyed for college.

When I was in high school I heard that all the time. In many instances I heard it again come springtime when we were speaking face-to-face because college ended up being not quite what it seemed originally and home was just a bit too far away.

Yes, it is great here. Yes, the people are fantastic. Yes, I am learning. Yes, it rocks. But it’s not amazing. It’s not a carefree, euphoric party like we were led to believe in years passed. College is hard work.

Take that with a grain of salt if you choose. It’s coming from a person who has been doing the whole college thing for under a month.

I don’t mean to be a cynic. You’re probably wondering why this is such a change of pace from my other posts. Just wait for the punch line.

Ohio University is the place I need to be. It’s where I belong; where I will better myself not only as a journalist but as a person. It is where I am going to learn how to live, despite the contrary opinion of some that college does not prepare you for real life, as it’s called. This doesn’t mean that I’m only here to become a better journalist. It does mean that I’m starting to figure this whole thing out.

If I do it right, the next four years will be extremely rewarding. If I choose to sit and let life come to me then I will be scrambling for an entry-level position at Podunk Weekly. That  is why I feel I’m in the right place.

“What?”

What drew me in to this school was a simple meeting I had with a journalism faculty member here this February. I asked him what I asked every professor I met with during my college decision days: “What is this school going to do to make me a better journalist?”

A bratty question, I know.

Other schools fed me some b.s. about how their facilities were the best in the region or how the faculty were among the practice’s elite. The professor here said none of that. In fact, he said very little.

In other words, I was told that what makes the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism so great is not its building or amount of fancy equipment. It is not the faculty that OU brings in from around the world. It is not the platform that students’ work is displayed upon.

It is the students.

The students make the school the best. Hmm. That doesn’t quite make sense. You can have good students anywhere — I would say that all colleges have good students. One could very easily leave the meeting thinking that the guy across the table just threw aside my $100,000 commitment in his school.

Except it sold me. I signed that (figurative) check as soon as I walked out the front door of Scripps Hall.

I have this belief that was passed on to me by one of my hockey coaches. (Bear with me, I don’t have that much more to say.) He would always say “Steel sharpens steel.” Whether or not that’s true is beyond me. I suppose a Google search would suffice. In fact, in the amount of time it took me to write this disclaimer I could have found the answer by now.

I digress.

Being around the best will make you the best.

There, I said it. A punchline in the typical sense, no. It wasn’t funny or particularly clever. However it’s why I’m here. I want to be the best and being around other people with that same goal will only drive me to do as such. It gives me the peace of mind of knowing that I’m in the right place and that I am doing what I can to ensure myself the future that I desire. (I’ll let the world know when I figure that one out.)

In summary. Does it rock? Yes. It is great here? Yes. Is it a 24/7 fun fest? No. Amazing? No.

The best possible place for me to spend the next four years? Yes.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go practice crumpling my Economist.

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Discussion

4 thoughts on “I’m in the right place

  1. Loved the clincher lol! Great post! Look forward to reading your work!

    Posted by Kate Schroeder | September 24, 2011, 2:42 pm
  2. Very well written! I am so happy for you and I look forward to reading about your journey over the next four years!!!

    Posted by Sheryl Florian | September 25, 2011, 3:20 pm

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My name is Jim Ryan, and I'm a breaking news reporter for The Oregonian and OregonLive in Portland. I'm an Ohio University graduate from Gaylord, Michigan.

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