My journey through ‘Oz’ – uh, UIW

11822357-921237851277492-3766204682217956781-nBy Angela Hernandez


“And I think I’ll miss you most all, Scarecrow”’

Like Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz,” I have found myself on an unexpected journey where I survived hardships, met people who have changed my life, and all around had a fun time while pursuing my higher education.

My first year and a half was tough. I didn’t like the idea I had to stay in San Antonio for school, or how expensive a private university was. I also didn’t know where I fit in and second-guessed every decision. I was unhappy with a lot of things.

Somewhere along the way, I started to enjoy my time on campus. It was as if a house fell on top of all the negative feelings I had about the University.

My academic life went from black-and-white to Technicolor.

I was enjoying the courses I was taking, making friendships with my peers. I liked the small class sizes and how friendly everyone on campus was. Professors and staff were always around to lend a helping hand.

The professor that breathed life back into my love of journalism was Michael Mercer. Since I was a freshman, he called, e-mailed and even stopped me in the hallway to talk to me about my work with the Logos. He has always gone above and beyond for his advisees and students.

Another patron saint of the Communication Arts Department is Julie Hutchison. She is Director Hank McDonnell’s right hand. She knows so many students’ names and makes a point to greet each of us and talk to us about our lives. Julie provides a nurturing feeling we all need when stressed out with our workload.

Come to think about it, this department is as silly and unconventional as Oz. My peers are always roaming the halls working on projects and telling one another where we can get some free food on campus.

Professors such as (Dr. Dora) Fitzgerald and (Dr.) Joey (Lopez) are passionate about their respective fields of study. Hank makes sure all of our education needs are being taken care of, even though I probably distract him with all the noise coming from the Logos office.

Without programs, such as the various student media groups I probably wouldn’t know a fourth of the people I do, have the work experience I do, or any of the great opportunities that have come my way.

Another important part of my success in college can be attributed to my home life. My family has been encouraging towards my passion and future career field of journalism and has been patient with my chaotic schedule. I know I couldn’t have made it through the stress from these last four years without them.

My younger sister, Amy, is my best friend and I talked her into attending UIW with me. My mom has been such a great example of a strong and independent woman I want to be one day. If she could raise two children on her own, then I know I can make it.

I am so grateful for everyone who has made the last four years of my life amazing. Thank you to everyone. They say it takes a village to raise a child, and apparently it takes a university to graduate a student.

Now, I am days away from graduation, weeks away from possibly moving away from the only place I have ever lived in 22 years and all I am hoping for is that the next chapter of my life will be as great as the time I have spent over the rainbow, here at UIW.


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