Reflection on Goals

Global Awareness

My entire life I have lived in one city: Columbus. Although I love this city and all of the amazing opportunities it has to offer, I also do not want to limit myself to one place when there is an entire world out there for me to explore. I have traveled to other states within the United States, but I have yet to experience other countries and their ways of life. Entering my second year at OSU, I reflected on my lack-of international experiences and decided that with the grant I will receive from participating in the STEP program I will travel to another country and expand my global awareness. From May 7 to May 21, I will be participating in the Global May: Paris program, an experience in which I will be studying Parisian culture, landscapes, history, and people in order to not only learn about how people are living thousands of miles away, but to also reflect on my own life and how I can live it in a more fulfilling way. I am eager to travel abroad and take this life-changing trip that will open my mind to different perspectives.

Original Inquiry

Prior to entering Ohio State, when I thought of the word “research” I thought of a science lab with test tubes and Erlenmeyer flasks, not something I would be participating in considering I was not going into a “science” major. I soon learned, however, research is much, much more than just scientists in white lab coats studying cells, but rather forming a hypothesis and something of interest to you, and executing studies test it. My first experience with research was during my first semester when I participated in numerous psychology studies on campus, followed by several communication studies my next semester. As a participant, I got to experience studies and, to my enjoyment, analyze each one, trying to solve what they were studying if it was not explicitly stated. This grew my interest in the research process, wondering how I could implement my own study on communication theories I am interested in, leading me to enroll in Comm 3160: Communication Research Methods this semester. A large component of this course is designing a study testing a self-created hypothesis. Although the study is hypothetical and not required to be carried out, this has allowed for me to see the “researcher” side of a study and how I could one day carry out my own communication studies, or at least successfully assist professors in their projects during my time here at OSU!

Academic Enrichment

To be honest, coming into Ohio State I had absolutely no idea what area of study to pursue. This confusion was not due to my lack of interests or passions but rather quite the opposite; I had far too many things I wanted to study that I could not possibly choose one area to graduate with a degree in! To my delight, however, I realized I could study multiple areas of interests to me through my GEs, with my primary passion being designated with my major and minor. During my first semester in Exploration, I took several different classes that peaked my interest but also fulfilled degree requirements, including Psychology, Philosophy, Persuasive Communications, and Dance. After this semester, I received the clarity I needed to decide which areas I believe I could pursue a fulfilling career most successfully in, while also distinguishing which interests of mine I could not put to the side completely. This led me to declare a major in Communication with a minor in Media Production & Analysis, an area in which I could see myself flourishing in career-wise, but I still continued to take GEs in areas I was passionate about, such as music and women studies. Although my coursework has been rigorous, with honors courses and upper-level classes, I have remained resilient due to my confidence in the path I have chosen and my excitement for the future I have in store for me.

Leadership Development

During my Autumn 2018 semester, I enrolled myself in the Emerging Leaders Institute. Established by the Department of Recreational Sports, this 10-week program consisted of formal leadership training using the social change model. This program allowed for me engage in experiential learning to gain insight on how to collaborate and have meaningful dialogue with others that have different experiences, backgrounds, and opinions than myself. This program definitely has made a lasting impact on the type of conscious leader I am and I plan on continuing with this program by becoming a facilitator for the program during this upcoming Autumn semester. During Spring 2018 semester, I also was apart of the planning committee for Take Back the Night, which was a week in April in which our committee constructed and orchestrated several events focusing on sexual violence awareness, with the week ending in a march on campus. During that same semester, I was hired as a member services associate at the RPAC, with this position requiring various formal leadership trainings.

Service Engagement

Throughout my time at OSU, I have made it a goal of mine to get involved in various volunteer activities, whether on campus or around the Columbus area. Through the ELI program, I participated in a semester-long service experience in which my cluster and I picked a social issue we were passionate about in the Columbus area. The issue we chose was youth-homelessness in the Columbus community, an issue that of enormous prevalence and relevance, but something that does not receive the recognition and solutions it deserves. We took the semester researching the topic, meeting with local experts on the issue, and implementing a hands-on service activity at the Huckleberry House in Columbus to meet with those affected by homelessness. This project concluded with a presentation explaining the issue and possible solutions our city can implement in order to help solve it. This experience not only allowed for me to learn about a social issue I had little prior knowledge on, but also allowed for me to work with my peers to analyze the issue and inform others on the best way to address it. I have participated in other service projects on campus, such as packing food for the food insecure through The Pack Shack, and in the Columbus area, such as building furniture for those in need through the Furniture Bank, but this opportunity allowed for me to have a more in-depth experience and required more critical thinking surrounding a social issue.


Autumn Semester Reflection

My first semester at OSU has been everything I expected, and more. I took enlightening courses, attended various social, academic, and sporting events, and joined a dance team! I have met several amazing people, and have strengthened relationships I’ve already had.

Even though my semester has been amazing, it definitely has not been perfect. There have been several challenges I’ve had to face, one being the transition from high school to college. In high school, I had my set group of friends, my daily routine for my weekdays, and I lived in a town where I knew where everything was located and pretty much who everyone was. Moving to Ohio State was a big change for me, as I’m sure it was for the thousands of other freshmen at OSU. It has definitely taken some time to get settled in and figure out how to balance my social, academic, & extracurricular life, but I’ve pretty much gotten it figured out to what works best for me. Ohio State is finally beginning to feel like my home, even though I still miss my hometown (which is luckily only 15 minutes away).

Before attending the college lectures I had already decided on my major. I came into college focused on exploring Journalism as a major, so I decided to take a communication course, but I still wanted to explore other majors as well while completing my GEs. My RA is a Journalism major, so from discussing the major with her to taking my communication course to speaking with my advisor, I knew pretty quickly that Journalism was the right course for me.

Since high school, I’ve known that English courses have been my strong suit. I’ve always enjoyed writing, even since a young age with journaling pretty often. My senior year of high school, I chose to join our news team, and that’s when I knew that I definitely wanted to do something in media while also using my strength in writing. That’s why I have chosen Journalism with a minor in Media Production & Analysis to study here at OSU.

Again, I was declared before the college lectures so I don’t personally believe they were very beneficial for me. At the lecture on the communication school I did get to learn about my major, but it was mainly information I was already aware of.

Next semester, I hope to continue exploring my major through my prerequisite courses. I also hope to join The Lantern in order to further my journalism experience.

If I could go back to the beginning of my semester and give myself a few pieces of advice I’d first tell myself not to stress about my major decision. I will eventually figure it out and it won’t be as hard of a decision as I thought it’d be. I’d also tell myself that college is a big transition that a lot of people have to go through, but I’ll be able to get through that tough transition.

Informational Interview

For my informational interview I interviewed Kayleen Petrovia, a third year Journalism major with a minor in Media Production & Analysis.

Interview Questions:

Maddie: Did you start as pre-journalism or were you directly admitted into the Journalism program?

Kayleen: I was directly admitted as a Journalism major. If you’re an honors student you don’t have to apply to Journalism, so I was directly in Journalism.

Maddie: Why did you choose journalism?

Kayleen: I’ve always been more of writing and literature type person as opposed to math and science, so I knew I wanted to do something with that. I didn’t really want to go into just English or didn’t want to go into English Education so I looked into majors that incorporated writing, and journalism just seem like a really good fit because I love interacting with people and its something that had a cause to the writing.

Maddie: Did you ever consider the other options in the communication school or did you just know journalism was the one?

Kayleen: I looked into them but I’ve really known I wanted to do journalism since probably like middle school so it wasn’t like a huge decision for me. I looked at Strategic Communications too just because its probably the most comparable to journalism out of everything in the communications school. So there used to be “J School” at Ohio State which is like the school of journalism but a few years ago they incorporated it into the school of communication so it used to be its whole entire school but now its apart of communications. “Strat Comm” is similar to the writing style of journalism but its more for PR and more subjective, as opposed to journalism, which is supposed to be more objective. So that’s what I liked about it, but it’s a good thing to look in to.

Maddie: Have you ever questioned your decision at all in journalism?

Kayleen: Not so much cause I knew for a long time that’s something that I wanted to do. I think the good thing about Ohio State is that a lot of schools offer like broadcast journalism or print journalism or maybe multimedia technology or something like that which may seem like kind of a disadvantage here that we just have an overarching program but I think its actually really beneficial because instead of going into a major that’s a specific specialization of journalism you use your minor as your specialization so I like that because my minor for journalism is media production and analysis (I also have Spanish but that’s not for journalism). I came here thinking I for sure wanted to go into sports broadcasting and that’s what I wanted to do I know 100% and I took a sports media class here and I was like “no I really don’t want to do that anymore”. I never necessarily questioned my decision of journalism but definitely what I wanted to do with my major so I think the major here is really nice because they want to prepare you to be someone who could go into print, who could go into broadcast, who could report general news, or you could do sports if you wanted, whatever it may be. I like that a lot because I’ll be more of a well-rounded journalist exiting Ohio state as opposed to someone who’s just really well versed in one area.

Maddie: Did you have a hard choice in deciding what minor/specialization you wanted to do?

Kayleen: I talked to my advisor about it and that was helpful. The purpose of media production and analysis is kind of to supplement our journalism program to be more like multimedia and broadcast so that seemed like a good fit for me. There are 9 specializations to choose from, and I felt this one was the best fit because it was more preparing me with different skills instead of just one category (like geography and political science).

Synthesis Questions:

  1. How did you find this interviewee, and why did you choose to interview this person?

    Kayleen is my RA and I knew she was a Journalism major. I chose to interview her because she’s a person that not only has the major and minor that I’m declaring soon, but she’s also a person I look up to and I value her opinion.

  2. How has this interview influenced your major and/or career exploration?

    This interview definitely solidified my decision to declare Public Affairs Journalism as my major. Kayleen gave me some great insight into what the Journalism program is like and how to get involved in the print and media publication of The Lantern. She talked so highly of the program, including her professors and peers, and I just know that it’s going to be a great fit for me.

  3. Did you learn anything unexpected from the interview? If so, what? If not, which ideas did the

    interview reinforce?

    I did not include the whole interview in the transcription above, but something I learned was that many of the professors in the Journalism school have at one time been professional journalists. Kayleen also explained to me what it’s like to work for The Lantern, and how fast paced it is. She explained that many of the professors can be hard on their students, but they’re doing it for your benefit and they’re all very helpful and care for their student’s success.

  4. What do you feel you still need to learn about this major/career before being able to make a

    confident decision?

    I’m in the process of declaring this major right now so I don’t believe I need any more information. I’m very confident in my decision.

  5. Which major exploration tools/activities/resources that you utilized this semester were most

    helpful to you and why?

    I feel my advising appointment was very helpful in making my decision because in this meeting I learned what I needed to do in order to declare the Journalism major. I also believe the test we took online that matched us up with potential careers was very helpful because I got many careers similar to Journalism, furthering my confidence in the major.

College Transition Lecture Reflection

The transition into college has definitely not been the easiest for me, but I’m beginning to get used to my new home. Coming into college, I was most worried about how I’m going to manage my time. There is always something to do here, making me feel as though I must constantly be busy. I’m slowly but surely learning that I must be able to divide my time equally among my studies, social life, and extracurriculars, and not just devote all of my time to one. I don’t believe I’ve gotten my time managed exactly how I’d like it to be, but with time I will get there.

Last week I auditioned for a dance group on campus and I was lucky enough to make it! I’m really excited to join this team, especially since dancing has always been something I’ve enjoyed to do and I now get to be with others who have the same passion. I’m also looking forward to meeting more people here at OSU through my classes and other extracurriculars I plan on joining. I’m still undecided on my major, but I’m looking forward to exploring my options and finding one that fits me.

I believe that English courses were my strongest classes in high school, so I’ve decided to look into majors in that subject area. The major I’m most interested in at the moment is Journalism, which would flatter my love for English. I also really enjoyed my Math classes in high school, but I’m not sure that I’d want to pursue that subject in college.

Next semester, I plan on rushing a sorority. I think it’d be a great way to get involved in the university, and I really like that each sorority has their own philanthropies they support. I also am interested in joining student government or possibly the Ohio Union Activities Board.

I think the piece of advice that most resonated with me from the panel was not to go into college with such high expectations. I’ve gone into college believing that I most immediately make friends, know what I’m majoring in, join several clubs, etc., so that advice helped me in realizing that all of those things are not going to happen at once; it will take time.

About Me

My name is Madison Cope, but most people call me Maddie. I have too many interests so I’m unable to decide on a major right now, leaving me in the Exploration program! I’m looking forward to exploring several different majors, from political science, to psychology, to my favorite at the moment: journalism. In high school, I favored my English classes and I was a member of the news team, so Broadcast Journalism is the program I’m heavily leaning toward. Not only am I looking forward to the Exploration program, but I’m also ecstatic to be a part of the Honors program at OSU. School has always been top priority for me, so I’m HONORed to have the ability to work along side students who share that with me. Going into my freshman year, I hope to learn many things about myself; what I want to pursue as my major, who I am as a college student, and ultimately, how I react to this amazing but also terrifying change in my life. Counting down the hours until move in day… Go Bucks!