Newsletter editor Lily here.
It’s taken me a while to talk about, but I did something bold and with the confidence of a mediocre white man a few weeks ago: I pitched a Center for Media Studies at my alma mater to the president of the university.
As many of you know, I’ve been teaching at Wesleyan University (not to be confused with Wellesley College or the 36 other schools with “Wesleyan” in the title) for this school year. It’s been a great experience, not to mention a challenging one, and I came out of it realizing that there are huge gaps in terms of connectivity between the academic pursuit of fields like media, journalism, marketing, and similar topics as well as post-grad development in those fields. At the end of all of those epiphanies, I decided to pitch some sort of central hub that could do any number of things for the school in regards to work with media and its adjacent industries. After finally calling the office to set up an appointment, I spent weeks fretting over my presentation (both the proposal document itself and what I’d actually say), had a near-panic attack two hours before I met with the president, and nearly fell over afterwards. (God bless one of my favorite administrators on campus for being available for 45 minutes right after to sit with me in my exhaustion.)
As a 24-year-old without an advanced degree who’s a relatively recent alum, the task of walking into any college president’s office is intimidating. I felt like an imposter through and through. And I think there’s a 10% chance this center happens in any way, shape, or form. But you know what? I’m glad I did it. I’m glad I threw my hat into the ring or at least gave the president a heads up about a huge missed opportunity. If nothing comes of this, it’s a good story for later, and I’ll take my ideas and talents elsewhere. If something does, it’ll benefit a lot of students, professors, and alumni. Sometimes the reminder to not talk yourself out of things is an important one. After all, so many men aren’t (even when they should).
Today’s new question on Chairman Mom: