Erika Granath has studied Journalism and Multimedia at the University of Sodertorn in Stockholm, Sweden. She has also taken classes in Mass Communication and Art History at Georgia College & State University. In the spring she’ll take online classes in video editing and have an internship with a production company in Atlanta, Ga.
Twice a week this past semester I went to a building across the road from my school’s main campus to drink coffee, laugh and talk about what I really love. I even got credit for it.
Every Thursday and Tuesday I had Museum Studies. As an exchange student the application process to classes is a bit different from the way the native students register for classes.
I got a list of all classes at Georgia College & State University while I was still in my home country Sweden. Then, it was still a couple of months left until I was going to get on that twelve hour flight that took me to Atlanta.
I remember thinking that most names of the classes just came out as words I hardly understood. I took a guess and picked a couple of classes that sounded like they would teach me things in the field of journalism. I’m a mass communication major.
I had to pick ten classes I could consider taking. Out of them I would get five. The first ones were easy to choose. I picked classes that sounded strategically and résumé smart to take. Soon I had chosen eight classes. Two left.
I couldn’t find any more classes that really suited me so I just pick two random. The chance that I would get any of them didn’t seem that large.
I’d done some sculpturing on my spare time before. So I put a little check in the box next to the class “Ceramics”. One to go. I read: “Museum Studies”. Yea, why not. I like to go to museums. I love art, as a hobby. I put a check in the box next to that class too. Done.
It took a couple of weeks before I got my schedule. I had got the Museum Studies class.
My journalism classes was like a crash course in the American way of working with media. I learned so much everyday that it sometime felt like my head would explode. I was in the editing lab or the library until late every evening in the beginning of the semester.
My Museum Studies class was different. I didn’t have that much homework in that class. I learned a lot but not in the same overwhelming way. That class was smaller and it was held in another building than all my other classes.
At first I regret writing the check in the box next to this class on the application form. It was fun. However, I wasn’t in school to have fun I thought. I wanted to learn as much as possible!
With time I reconsidered. Everything can’t be about performing all the time. That will exhaust even the most enthusiastic student sooner or later.
This class became my oxygen in a stressful college life, a place where my classmates (and the professor) became my friends. Not only people I did work with. Here I drank coffee out of porcelain mugs instead of to go paper cups. And I laughed instead of sigh.
I might not use what I learned in this class as much in the future as I’ll use what I learned in my other classes. Still, without this class I’m not sure I would have had the energy to learn that much in the other classes.