Sitting at a desk in Fahy Hall classroom 123, I gazed out the window at South Orange Avenue, watching cars whip down the street. I was trying to pass the time in my Logic class – or was it some music class? Or was it that class I took in which we talked about mazes for an entire semester? Hm, maybe it was the one that theorized why people talk to each other.
I can’t remember which class I was in at that moment. You see, I, a journalism major, was forced to take quite a few classes that had absolutely no benefit to me or my major whatsoever.
I have a love-hate relationship with the education I received at Seton Hall. I’ll start with the love: this University helped me develop my foundational journalistic knowledge. When I came to SHU as a freshman, I had never written a news article in my life. My basic writing classes like Writing for the Media, News Reporting and Magazine Writing taught me how to become a better writer and interviewer.
Broadcast News taught me how to write for TV, something I still struggle with to this day. For providing me with those base skills, I’ll be forever grateful to Seton Hall.
However, looking back at some of the classes I had to take, I wonder if the money that my parents so generously paid for those credits went to waste. I can recall a few moments throughout my time at SHU when I would just sit back and think, “Why am I taking this class? How on earth is this going to make me a better journalist?”
The simple answer is that some of those classes didn’t help me. For the journalist I am today (though I am undeniably far from being finished learning), I attribute it to my time with The Setonian and the four internships I completed while attending college.
I found that after I became an editor for The Setonian and started interning, I began to put school on the back-burner. Why focus on all of my classes when I felt that many of them weren’t helping me build into a better journalist?
Again, I’ll say that a good number of classes I took were useful, but I’d argue that at least a quarter of the classes were not, and had nothing to do with my major or minor. There are at least five classes I’ve taken that I can’t remember a thing from because the content was uninteresting or irrelevant to my future.
I understand having to take a few religion courses because this is a Catholic University, but some classes that I had to take to complete certain core requirements or to just get enough credits to graduate have done nothing to serve me as a student journalist.
I feel as if I could have taken two and a half years worth of classes and learned the same amount that I learned in four years. I don’t regret coming to Seton Hall because, as I said, it jump-started my journalism career, but I feel as if the time I spent during some of my classes would have been better served at another internship or publication.
I don’t blame Seton Hall entirely, I blame an overpriced and outdated education system that forces students to take more credits than necessary.
Ashley Turner is a senior journalism major from Jamesburg, N.J. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org