When I say that I never saw college coming, I never saw it coming. Crazy. It’s hard to believe that in about a year and a half I’ll be moving into a college dorm and beginning life somewhere else. It’s hard to believe that I’ve finally arrived at the season of standardized tests, applications, essays, and recommendation letters.
I decided to visit Arizona State University – Downtown Phoenix, a university that I excited to visit, but wasn’t quite expecting to ever visit. The reason? It’s incredibly close to home. Sure, being close to home isn’t a bad thing, but I’ve lived in Arizona my entire life, so going out-of-state has always been a big dream of mine. This tour might’ve changed a bit of that.
ASU has a giant journalism program that’s absolutely incredible. It’s named after Walter Cronkite, one of the greatest journalists of all time. Students have unique internship opportunities, their own TV station, and editing bays and equipment galore. I was honestly stunned to see how much they had available to their students, and when I found out that the journalism building is open 24/7 (aka the best idea ever for journalism students who are always working on their next story). Guess where you’ll find me at 3am?
I first got to tour the actual ASU campus and the dorms, which were much more spacious than I expected! The campus itself is open to the city and really blends in, but I have to say, I really appreciated the city/school balance. There’s just enough places to intern, work, or find a place to study. The dorms are all in one building that has a nice post office, kitchen, and dining hall downstairs. The whole campus is in the middle of Phoenix so there are several food options.
The walking tour really showed off how versatile and supportive ASU is of their students. There were banks solely for students, student discounts everywhere, and buildings that boasted ease of access. I thought that the city blended students with regular civilians, and somehow, I could suddenly picture myself walking to and from classes, and wanting to investigate all of the buildings that I didn’t get to step inside.
The actual Cronkite building itself (which I got to go through individually) was six stories tall and right across the street from the dorms. The building had its own TV station inside (insanely cool) that juniors and seniors can all audition for, and its own newsroom where everyone could work alongside the set. I was elated to see how professional the workrooms of the building were, and in a way, it made me feel like Cronkite gives less of a college classroom feel and more of a workplace feel. I was super excited to see all of the “editing bays,” which are small rooms with computers, microphones, and all the editing software you could ever need to give students every opportunity possible to craft the perfect story. The guide, Alexis, talked about how students at Cronkite seize every opportunity to be professional and advance in their careers, even talking about the 2 absence limit. I thought this really aligned with what I do and what I want, so that was definitely a pro of the school that I never would’ve seen without the tour. Side note: make sure you tour schools! You might not realize you love a school or certain aspects of it until you see it in person!
The Barrett Honors Program is also a big part of ASU and it’s an honors program that focuses on building community. I liked that the students in the honors program get to take unique classes to fulfill their honors requirements, such as study abroad classes, or even taking a class that analyzes Disney Films (seriously, who wouldn’t want a Disney class?)
Overall, I was really impressed with ASU as a whole, and I was glad to see that there was such a strong journalism program so close to where I live. I’ll definitely be applying this summer, so stay tuned to see what happens with this one! I’ll be sure to share my future tours with y’all as well, until next time!