Student Spotlight: Julia Andersen
When Julia Andersen started at College of DuPage, she was 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 Andersen 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.”
After her first year, Andersen decided on a new career path, one that would combine her love of English and desire to be a published writer: middle school librarian.
“While I haven’t given up on the bestseller’s list yet – or plain old publication, let’s not get ahead of ourselves – I know that it’s not usually something you can jump right in to. That left me with the issue of what I would do before I made that elusive bestsellers list. I decided to combine my love of reading and writing with my enjoyment of working with kids, and I thought that being a librarian would be the perfect fit,” she said. “I have particularly fond memories of my excellent middle school librarian, which might have something to do with how much I want to work with that age group. But I also know that middle school can be a rough transitional period for some kids, and books can really help those kids deal with what real life is throwing at them. Whether it’s because a character is struggling with similar issues, or just because losing yourself in a book is your way to decompress, I think reading is immensely important and rewarding.”
As for film, Andersen isn’t completely abandoning the medium. She still loves watching great movies and plans to continue making videos as a hobby.
What Andersen has been sure about all along was her decision to attend College of DuPage, where she is completing 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.”
2014 College of DuPage