Bigger is better

By Nora Drapalski

I can think of no better way to begin my final article for the Massachusetts Daily Collegian than to quote the great Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore. So, without further ado, “Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!”

My time at the University of Massachusetts taught me one thing: bigger means more. In the case of UMass, this means more classes to choose from, more people to get to know and befriend, more activities to get involved in on and off campus, and more chances for you to figure out exactly what you want to do with the rest of your life.

As a freshman, I arrived at UMass with my college career all figured out. First, I would start off as a classics major with the plan to add a psychology minor. Then, in my sophomore year, I would add Legal Studies as a second major, and begin my journey on the road to becoming an entertainment lawyer.

I didn’t quite expect how greatly this plan would change.

In the fall of my sophomore year I decided to join three organizations on campus that ended up affecting the career path I eventually chose to take. The first was the Film Studies Certificate program. After realizing that I could put my interest in film to good use, I started taking film courses in the communications department through the certificate program, eventually leading me to add Communications as a second major.

Now, instead of pursuing a career as a lawyer, when I graduate, I will be trying my hand in the film industry.

WMUA was the second group I decided to join as a sophomore. I immediately launched into the six-week training process as a new member, becoming a DJ by the winter of the same year. In my junior year, I became the DJ Training Director, and in my senior year, I became the Fund Drive Director. Due to my experiences at WMUA, I was inspired to get an internship with Clear Channel Radio in my hometown, which has proven to be one of the most enjoyable and fulfilling activities in my life.

The final group I joined was the Collegian. My involvement with the Collegian began in the fall of 2008, when my close friend and future co-editor, dragged me along to a meeting saying, “I swear you’ll have fun.” Doubtful and more than a little annoyed, I went to that first meeting seriously questioning the likelihood of her words. I had never considered myself to be a wonderful writer; why would I even think about writing for a newspaper?

After meeting the wonderful Arts crew at that first meeting, I quickly realized that regardless of my insecurities, the Collegian definitely had room for me in their tight-knit group. Now, as a writer and Assistant Arts Editor nearly three years later, I can proudly say that I am a part of this family.

As I prepare to graduate and leave UMass, I find it difficult to believe how quickly the past four years have flown by. Although I’m sad to say goodbye, I am grateful for the experiences I had at UMass. The choice I made to join the Film Studies Certificate program, WMUA and the Collegian allowed me to pursue a career that I otherwise would not have even been able to consider. I am certain that had I decided to attend a small private school, I would not have participated in any similar programs.

While I know it is customary to impart upon you some brilliant words of wisdom or a particularly humorous experience from my life, I will refrain from doing so. Instead, I will leave you with this quote from Jane Austen: “If things are going untowardly one month, they are sure to mend the next.” Never give up and never lose faith. Nothing is impossible if you believe with all your heart.

So take a chance and do something you never would have done before. You never know where it might lead you.

Nora Drapalski was an Assistant Arts Editor for the Collegian. She can be reached at [email protected]