Life after JCamp: One 2010 Alumnus’ story

By Michael Majchrowicz, JCamp 2010 Alumnus

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It’s Aug. 2, 2010 and the events of JCamp are well underway. It’s 4:30 a.m. and my roommate’s summer sinuses are keeping me company as I open my laptop. I had been waiting for this moment all summer long — it was finally time to apply to college.

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I felt better prepared thanks to the past couple of days of JCamp. JCamp was the ultimate training ground for what I hope will be a career in journalism. The program was more than what I expected. I was used to being the speaker and JCamp showed me how to listen. I had never known what it was like to be a minority and JCamp took me well out of my comfort zone and taught me how to adapt.

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By the time I was back in Dyer, Ind., there was a new feel to everything. JCamp had boosted my self-confidence as not only a journalist, but a member of society. At the time, I was going into my second year as editor-in-chief of our student-run newspaper.

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As the month of September rolled around, I was seeing Facebook status updates and Twitter feeds about friends getting accepted to college and how excited everyone was to be moving on. I eventually started receiving the first of my acceptance letters — but had yet to
receive the prize: my acceptance packet from Indiana University. Weeks and eventually months passed with no word. I learned the admissions committee had a concern with my math standardized testing score. I was stunned.

I distracted myself with by taking on more school activities. As time went on, things seem to be playing out better than I had ever expected. I won first place and honorary awards at both the state and national level for my writing and editorial leadership. I was named a finalist for Student Journalist of the Year in Indiana. The day I went to attend the recognition ceremony was when I came home to find an envelope from Indiana University.

I was in.

In about three weeks, I will be off in Bloomington, Indiana starting to scratch the surface of what will hopefully become a journalism career. I strive to ultimately one day be the voice of this nation.  I want to attend the master’s program Columbia University in New York City after graduating from Indiana University.

For my farewell and advice to prospective J Campers, I say “Some people see things as they are and say why? I dream things that never were and say why not?”–Robert F. Kennedy

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