From My Mothers Couch To Newhouse. I’m Glad I’m Not On My Mothers Couch Anymore

From My Mothers Couch To Newhouse. I’m Glad I’m Not On My Mothers Couch Anymore

Where do I begin…let’s see. I applied to Newhouse because I was tired of working a dead-end job in a dead-end city for slightly above minimal pay, little-to-no involvement and declining feeling of self-worth. Yeah, it was bad. All throughout undergrad I scoffed at professors, mentors, and scholarship advisors who said I should pursue higher education after graduation. As far as I was concerned, once I got that degree they paid me to receive, I was finished. I had never been a huge fan of education, not in high school, and not in college. I made the grades but it all seemed like a waste of time. I’m still not entirely sure how I landed face first into a poo-poo job, but once I did, I knew something had to change. My options (as poor and narrow as they were in hindsight) were to go to grad school, the military, or continue the unfulfilling existence that I called my life. I had done too much and fought too hard in undergrad to work at a place that didn’t utilize me as an individual, a place that stressed the cookie-cutterness of its employees and had a “the pieces” —employees — are interchangeable environment.


I immediately felt better the second I quit and drove my car off site.


That was around mid-December, 2011. I quickly ruled out the military (my mother was still upset with me for considering it before I decided on undergrad) and signed up for the GRE test. I had two weeks to study, and only one shot to do well because the test date was so close to the application deadlines. After the test I narrowed down my choices to three schools and four programs: NYU for Integrated Marketing, The New School for Media Studies, Syracuse-Newhouse/Whitman for New Media Management, and Syracuse-Newhouse for Advertising.


Advertising was my fourth choice. I got accepted into several programs — except NYU — and I had decided that I’d attend The New School. My bachelor’s degree was in Media Studies and I wanted to continue it. Then one day, I didn’t.  I thought, “Why not advertising?” It probably wasn’t the best rationale for such a steep life choice, but what the hell; I’m a risk taker by nature.


I made the long drive from Columbus, Ohio to Syracuse about 10 days before classes began. That was kind of a mistake, as I didn’t know anyone here and relatively few students had arrived that early; probably about half got to campus the weekend before boot camp started. Boot camp — described to me as the forthcoming bane of my existence — was grossly understated. Kind of.  As advertising students, we had the same graphics class that others in Newhouse had to take, and our Advertising Principles and Strategies class. The graphics class required minimal work outside of class and the advertising course had a lot of work, just not near the beginning of the summer session. So while everyone was complaining about how miserable they were during the first four weeks, the drinks were good and the living was easy for us advertising folks. But then it flipped, and for the last two weeks, we were bestowed the sweet pleasure of tasting the same hatred of learning that everyone else had grown accustomed to.  Even then, it wasn’t the deathly hollows that last year's grads had warned me about.


All in all, the application process and boot camp weren’t nearly as daunting as everyone made them out to be. It was a lot of work, yes, but it’s grad school, not the end of the world.


As an aside, find two or three of your favorite hobbies, and then forget them, because you won’t have enough time to do them all.


K, bye!

Martha Coria on Email
Martha Coria
Assistant Director of Professional Master's Programs at S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications

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