Student Spotlight: Julia Anderson
Julia Anderson is still deciding between a major in English and one in film.
"I've been interested in both as fields of study since I was young and messing around with a video camera the size of my 4-year-old torso," she said. "Although I'm sure my story of non-stop home movie-making isn't unique, it also isn't something I've grown out of. As for English, I've always loved books, and in third grade my teacher helped me 'publish' a story I'd written. I typed it up on the computer and laminated the cover. That was a very exciting experience for 8-year-old me."
Attending College of DuPage is giving Anderson the time to decide which field to pursue before committing to a four-year university. Financially, it was the best option, especially after she was named a Presidential Scholar, an honor that includes a full-tuition scholarship and enrollment in COD's Honors program and the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society.
"I love being a Presidential Scholar! Not only is my tuition free -- my bank account rejoices -- but I'm automatically placed in the Honors program, which has led me to some really interesting classes and helped me meet great new people," she said. "All the classes I've taken so far have been of a high caliber, but I find that I get the most enjoyment and fulfillment from my Honors classes, when I'm surrounded with other students eager to work together on the challenging material the teachers provide."
Anderson has two specific career goals based upon which major she selects. If it's English, she dreams of ending up on a bestseller list. As a filmmaker, she'd love to be a director or cinematographer.
"As a writer, I'd love to have someone find enough merit in my work to publish it, let alone have other people agree strongly enough to buy it! Of course, I'd be happy with being published, period, bestseller or no. But that's now. Come talk to me in 20 years, and we'll see if I still agree with myself," she said.
"Currently, directing is a field with very few women in it, so I like to think of it as a win-win: I'd be doing something I enjoy, and I'd be making headway in a male-dominated medium. Of course, no one wants to be a bad director; we all aspire to be the next Hitchcock or Capra.
"Then again, I've also found myself enjoying writing and editing, so perhaps a career as a screenwriter -- a combination of my two favorite things -- or in film editing is the thing for me. As of right now, I'm still making up my mind."
What Anderson is sure about is her decision to attend College of DuPage, where she can complete her general education requirements, take interesting elective classes and have time to explore.
"Of course, if COD wasn't so excellent in so many other respects as well -- academics, extracurriculars, the list goes on -- I would have just decided to grit my teeth and bear the student loans," she said. "In the end, I was really impressed by COD's focus on the students, the quality of the education, and the range of opportunities for campus involvement. I've also been able to work at a job I really enjoy near home, an opportunity I don't think I would've had if I'd gone a different route.
"My advice for others is to go for it! Apply for any scholarships you qualify for, take the tours, bring it up with your counselor if they haven't already discussed it with you. Unfortunately, my senior counselor was not a big advocate for COD. I found myself convincing him that this was the right place for me to start. So remember, you know yourself better than anyone. If you think you'd like to start here, then do it. COD provides a top-notch education and plenty of excellent opportunities at an affordable price. Personally, I highly recommend it."
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