Looking back: Three unforgettable years at Texas State University
By Andrew Osegi
As I look back on my three years at Texas State University — I’m about to graduate with my bachelor’s degree in journalism on May 11 — an eruption of mixed feelings floods my memory.
I feel excitement when I recall my first day on campus as a freshman. Fresh out of high school from McAllen, Texas, attending Texas State was the next big step in my life. While traversing the steps of the beautiful, foreign campus, the promise of adventure kept me eager for new experiences. As I became a seasoned Bobcat, my expectations to meet new people, explore new ideas and grow as a person were consistently met.
setting the Course
As a freshman, I chose to study journalism because I love to read and I respect the power of language and the written word. I also chose to minor in anthropology because human culture drives diversity, and I am a natural explorer at heart.
I took 15 hours both semesters and knocked out my prerequisites courses as quickly as I could. I learned the pros and cons of dorm life. I learned that succeeding meant always learning from a situation, no matter how good or how bad it was. I was told that if I did well earlier in college the stress of graduation wouldn’t be so pressing, so I did my best for myself and for my family, who paid my tuition.
I also discovered that I didn’t need to let my friends dominate what I wanted to do. It’s OK to go on a solo run to Harris or Jones, to eat by yourself. Bring a book or read the paper and you’ll be fine! In other words, don’t let anyone hold you back from what you want to do or accomplish — especially during your undergraduate career.
Finding Freedom and Career Experience
Sophomore year, I remember the freedom of moving out of the residence halls and into an apartment of my own. I also took advantage of Texas State’s resources to gain experience and a part-time student job on campus. As an aspiring writer, the University Star was the perfect place to practice my craft and develop a professional portfolio. Writing as a news reporter, in addition to my 14- to 16-hour course loads, kept me busy until I was lucky enough to land the perfect student job.
With my sophomore year drawing to a close, I used Career Services to guide my job search. At the 2012 Spring Job and Internship Fair, I submitted my résumé and cover letter to the Texas State Office of University Marketing, which was there to recruit a social media intern. I prepared my newspaper portfolio for the interview and was able to land the job for the summer. It turned out to be the best opportunity of my undergraduate career: At the end of the summer, my team offered me the position for the remainder of the school year. I knew this job would guide my post-graduation aspirations into the digital frontier.
Making the MOst of Great Opportunities
My final year at Texas State (as a junior and senior) was the most absorbent and opportunity-filled year yet. Monitoring the Texas State Twitter, Facebook and official university blog was challenging at first, but with time came experience, and I soon found the job enjoyable and easy to do. As a social media coordinator, my job was to encourage the positive growth and energy of Texas State’s online communities. I knew many of the school’s issues and public officials through the newspaper, and many of my friends became leaders of organizations. I was able to network and use all this information to share Texas State’s story.
The material taught in my final semester of classes was directly applicable to my work in the Office of University Marketing — it helped me grow the school’s online presence. The amazing teachers and co-workers who influenced me helped me win Student Employee of the Year for the university. The School of Journalism, the Anthropology Department and the Office of University Marketing at Texas State have shaped who I have become and prepared me for the real world.
This university was the best choice I ever could have made. Its small-school culture allows any dedicated student to rise above and become a leader, but the university is big enough to compete and be recognized on a national and worldwide level. There is ample opportunity in the hills of San Marcos. Look for it, find it, and juice it for all it’s worth. Attend the school’s plays, musical recitals and athletic events. Be an active, well informed student and use the university’s resources in your favor. Once a Bobcat, always a Bobcat.
Andrew Osegi has been the student social media coordinator in the Office of University Marketing since 2012. He is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in journalism this week. We give him our best wishes and will miss him! Luckily, we can follow him on Twitter at @AEOsegi.