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I’m officially a Film and Media Studies major.

I feel like I just got slapped upside the face by college… in the best possible way. I’m double majoring with Writing Seminars, but since you can only declare one at a time, I’m holding off on declaring Writing Sems until sophomore year. I applied as a Film and Media Studies major and I’ve completely fallen in love with the program, so I thought it would only be right to honor it as my primary major!

So… why am I a Film major? Why did I apply as one? How does one even become Film-y?

Watching Hitchcock's Psycho during my weekly screening

Watching Hitchcock’s Psycho during my weekly screening

True Life: I applied to Hopkins as a Film and Media Studies major with no real film experience. Woops. I showed my indelible passion for media and a penchant for writing, and Admissions saw some potential in my abilities (for the millionth time, thank you).

That doesn’t mean I came in completely blind, though; I always had a hearty obsession with all things pop culture. Whether it was crying with joy when my household got picked to do a Nielsen television survey or snatching up the People magazine in the dentist’s office waiting room, I grew up in love with the media. I knew who Quentin Tarantino was at a startlingly young age and I could quote old Saturday Night Live skits before I could perform long division. Seriously, I just loved TV, movies, and culture. Always.

Like any kid, I went through phases of wacky dream jobs. It was zookeeper for a while, then fashion designer, then pastry chef. And a small part of me still wishes I could be a well-dressed zoologist with a professional sweet tooth. But no matter what cycle of job I was going through, whether I checked out from the library a book on Vultures or a detailed picture book of confectionary wonders, I remained enamored by the world of TV and film.

Does your class require a textbook that has Iron Man on the cover?

Does your class require a textbook that has Iron Man on the cover?

When I was younger (as smart as I was), I didn’t realize that actual people got to write for television. I knew they didn’t magically appear, but I never thought that “person who gets to spend their days making these awesome shows and movies” could possibly be a job. But someone told me that no, seriously, people get paid to make these things, and I never looked back. Nothing ever measured up.

I was a little bit nervous starting on my Film & Media Studies path. I assumed all the other kids in the program were Sundance stars or professional videographers or just a whole lot better at interpreting weird art-house films. I still don’t know if they are or aren’t, but I do know that I belong with them. And I’ve watched myself become a critical viewer, thinker, and writer, able to discuss and analyze details of a film.

Part of being a FIlm major means having an excuse to take really artsy photos

Part of being a FIlm major means having an excuse to take really artsy photos

I have no idea where Film & Media Studies will take me. I’ve always had it in my head that I will be one of those people who gets paid to make shows, and when people ask what I want to be when I grow up, I always say a television screenwriter. But the Film & Media Studies program here is so eclectic and has so many awesome courses taught by compelling professors, I wouldn’t be surprised if I graduated with plans to be a cinematographer or an advertising agent or even a professor (although grad school scares the ever-living you-know-what out of me, so maybe not. Scratch that last.)

Regardless, I’m so happy with my current position of film student. There is no better feeling in the world than the confirmation that you’re not only doing what you love, but that you’re good at it, too.

And for now, there’s no better feeling than being able to declare that you’re truly pursuing what you love.