By Carly Kempler ’18

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (May 3) – As the end of the semester approaches, a number of Merrill seniors are anxious to graduate, but also to reflect on their time and opportunities throughout their college careers.

There are a variety of campus publications and other media, which provide an outlet for students to write and broadcast their passions. For senior Kyle Stackpole, a multiplatform major, The Diamondback was a place to write about his interests, specifically sports.

“I got involved with The Diamondback two weeks into my freshman year, and I ended up doing it throughout my four years here,” he said.

Stackpole, who formerly served as The Diamondback’s Sports Editor, advised freshmen to take advantage of the opportunities at this university, especially during their first months on campus.

“I just wouldn’t be afraid,” he said. “Put yourself out there, try a bunch of new things and find out exactly what you want to do early on.”

Listen to the Podcast version of this article by Carly Kempler.

It’s also important to find your niche, said Susann Shin, a senior broadcast major, adding, “Don’t get distracted by others around you.”

“Everyone is sort of on their own journey,” Shin said. “You have to take it one step at a time and you can’t always be looking at people around you . . . or you start comparing yourself to other people, it’s really about focusing on where you want to go and exploring your own interests and your own passions.”

Shin, who was also a member of the Fall 2016 ViewFinder team, said her capstone experience was an “incredible opportunity” not only for herself as a student, but also for her prospective career.


And though Merrill College provides a plethora of chances to get involved, students, like senior broadcast major Bailey Martin, are able to narrow down these opportunities to seek out their own interests.

“I’ve come so far. . .  I didn’t even decide on the journalism major until I was already a junior and since then I’ve had three amazing internships,” Martin said. “I’ve met so many people, I’ve had the opportunity to cover some amazing stories and to just be a part of the inauguration, things that are making history.”

 


Both Martin and senior Chelsea Jones, also a broadcast major, were both reporters within the Broadcast Bureau of Merrill’s capstone course, Capital News Service. Jones served as one of the show’s anchors.

“I’ve done things that I never thought [were] possible,” Jones said. “For example becoming an anchor and reporter for Capital News Service, that’s something I always aspired to do, but never thought that with only two years to do a journalism curriculum, would I have the opportunity to.”

 


In addition to the hands-on experience Merrill provides, senior Talia Richman, a multiplatform major, also praised the school’s teachers, and said all students should take the time to get to know their professors.

“We are located in between Baltimore and D.C. so all the best journalists are there,” Richman said. “They come and teach us and you’re just so lucky to be able to have these people who should be your heroes that are also your teachers and are willing to help you and make you better and take the time to get to know you.”

 


Even with all of the opportunities and resources Merrill provides, senior Michael Stern, a broadcast major, found room for more. Stern started two online publications during his time in Merrill College, and encouraged students to take the first step in starting something new.

“There should never be a moment where you say, ‘I really wish I could do this on campus, oh wait it’s not here, so I’m not going to do it,'” Stern said. “That should never exist, if there’s something you want to do, that’s not there or there’s only one place to do it and you couldn’t get into that place, you should just start it yourself and still do it.”