2015 students head to college

Graphic by Ellie Lieberman

Graphic by Ellie Lieberman


The 2015 cherubs will be headed to a wide range of universities this fall for their first year of college. In the mix are state schools, liberal arts schools and everything in between. Some have chosen to major in journalism, while others have not. Here’s what some of last year’s cherubs had to say:

Megan Pisarczyk, Northwestern University

Majors: Journalism and Spanish

Why did you choose Northwestern?

When I first visited NU in the fall of my junior year, it immediately felt like home. I loved how the campus was laid out but more importantly saw all of the pieces of my “dream school” synthesize together. High-level academics were at the top of my list, but I also wanted a school where I could attend sporting events and be close to a large city like Chicago. I’m from Michigan, so it was also a great distance away from home — far enough away that I’ll be able to integrate myself into a completely new community, but not too far that I’ll feel completely disconnected from my family.

Are you majoring within Medill?

I’m planning to double major with journalism and Spanish. I’m so passionate about storytelling and writing, but I knew that my interests expanded beyond that. Medill makes it pretty easy to add a minor or double major, and that was a big reason I ended up choosing NU.

Oliver Trapp, Dartmouth College

Major: Economics or Computer Science

Why did you choose Dartmouth?

I chose Dartmouth because I wanted a challenging educational environment in a rural setting. I love the outdoors. Also, Dartmouth has a very good incubator program for entrepreneurship, which is my passion.

Why are you not pursuing journalism?

At cherubs, I learned a lot about journalism applied to technology. But what I really care about was the technology portion. I admire journalists a lot though, since my mother was one and I realize how challenging the profession is. But, truly, my interests circle mostly around finance, technology and business. However, I think the skills learned from journalism can be applied to many different fields.

Talia Wiener, College of William & Mary

Major: Undeclared

Why did you choose William & Mary?

I knew that I had to go somewhere in state, and I just really loved the campus and community when I visited. I know it sounds cliché, but I actually felt like I belonged there.

Why are you not pursuing journalism?

William and Mary doesn’t offer a journalism major, but I plan on working for the school paper, The Flat Hat, and trying to take classes that involve journalism in any way!

Shoshana Dubnow, University of Missouri

Major: Broadcast Journalism

Why did you choose Missouri?

I chose Mizzou for many reasons! The biggest one would have to be the journalism school. It was the first journalism school in the country and is still at the top of every list. There are so many opportunities available that really excite me. I also wanted that “quintessential college experience” with a university that had school spirit, a college town, D1 sports…Mizzou has all of that and more. Coming from Arizona, I wanted a change, and I love the Midwest. This will be my first time truly experiencing all four seasons! Overall, everyone I met at Mizzou seemed happy to be there. They all wanted to tell me why they loved it and their positive energy was contagious. For me, Mizzou was the perfect package.

Are you continuing on the journalism track?

Yes, I am continuing with the journalism track! And to be more specific, I think I’ll be narrowing in on broadcast journalism. Mizzou is the only school in the country with a news station that is an NBC affiliate, so I would be able to get real-world broadcasting experience during college. In addition to journalism, I’m also thinking about adding on another major, possibly political science or Spanish. Anyways, I’m continuing with journalism because I believe that now more than ever, the industry is bursting with opportunity. With everything going on in the world, the media is getting a lot of negative feedback, and I want to change that. I want people to trust that the news I am reporting is factual and unbiased. I think journalism is so amazing in the sense that it prevents ignorance; it keeps the world informed. Journalists tell stories of the silent. I’m a curious person. I love to write. Journalism combines both of those traits! I learned so much last summer at cherubs, but the main thing I walked away with was a passion to continue with journalism for the rest of my life.

Nayanika Kapoor, University of Southern California

Major: Undeclared 

Why did you choose USC?
My college choice process actually came down to the last day, but I ended up choosing USC because of the support system they create as part of the school. The amount of advising support, the alumni network and the resources of the school, etc.

Are you majoring in journalism?

Because I have such diverse interests, I wasn’t sure if I would seriously pursue journalism if I was at a school that didn’t have a school or a major. So by choosing USC, I decided that I seriously wanted to focus on it, at least at the beginning of my college career. The journalism school and the new media center that they just built ensured me that the program was moving in the right direction, towards multimedia journalism and the digital world. USC is also super accessible across schools and very accommodating of interdisciplinary double majors and minors which was really important to me.

Hannah Lemmons, Harvard University

Major: Undeclared

Why did you choose Harvard?

I just knew it was the one place I wanted to be, so I decided to choose Harvard for certain. My feelings were confirmed when I went to Visitas, Harvard’s visit weekend in April. I had a great time, and I can’t wait to start in September.

Why are you unsure of whether you’re going to continue journalism?

I love journalism, and I definitely want to write for newspapers and magazines at the school as an extracurricular activity. However, I am also very interested in law and international relations. One thing I learned from cherubs was the fact that you don’t have to major in journalism to become [a journalist]. You can major in what you’re interested in writing about. For me, as long as I follow my passions, I will end up majoring in something that I could easily apply in a journalism career.

Shawna Chen, Amherst College

Major: Undeclared

Why did you choose Amherst?

I felt that I’d be a better fit at liberal arts colleges. The atmosphere at Amherst stood out to me as very intellectually stimulating  and the students were very passionate about what they wanted to do.

Are you majoring in journalism?

They don’t have a journalism major which is actually a reason I chose the school. I hope to pursue journalism as a career, but I don’t necessarily want to specialize in it. I didn’t think I wanted my undergraduate education to be as career focused as intellect focused.   

Kaye Dyja, Wesleyan University

Majors: English and History or Economics

Why did you choose Wesleyan?

I picked Wesleyan based on its extensive English and writing programs that I couldn’t find anywhere else. I’ve always been used to a tight-knit environment. My high school was about 500 kids and the idea of going to a big school overwhelmed me both academically and socially. Wesleyan also has tons and tons of publications, both in print and digitally, like The Argus and Wesleying. Another reason I chose Wesleyan/a liberal arts school in general is because it isn’t preprofessional. At a liberal arts school, you develop a more broad education that isn’t so focused or set in one specific area.    

Are you majoring in journalism?

I’m hoping to double major in English and potentially history or economics with a certificate in creative writing. I’d also love to be the editor of the newspaper.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Author’s Note: Interviews were conducted through Facebook Messenger and phone.