Elvis Presley’s “(You’re the) Devil in Disguise” is my own personal time machine. It only takes a few seconds of hearing Presley’s voice to transport me to the backseat of my dad’s truck — back to the days of Lunchables and Junie B. Jones.
I made my dad play that song so many times on the ride to school, he had to be sick of it. Still, he’d sing along with me, Elvis lip curl and all.
Every once in a while, I play the song and think about how excited I was for him to park and walk me up the long driveway to my school’s front door.
It sounds silly but I’m actually still that excited about school.
And as I begin my senior year at Temple University, I remember how thrilled I was to begin my college experience years ago.
In 2015, right before my senior year of high school, I inquired online about Temple’s journalism program, and then-Chairperson and Professor George Miller emailed me right away — inviting me to sit in on his Journalism and Society class.
I still have my notes from that first taste of college; the principles of journalism scribbled haphazardly across the pages of a steno pad, smudged by my meddlesome left-handedness.
After his class, Miller took me on a tour of the TUTV studio and control room. Essentially, Klein College had me at hello.
It was Miller’s seminar and the shiny studio lights that sold me at first, but there have been so many more things I have come to love as a student journalist.
On the first day of classes, I went to a meeting for the Opinion Section of The Temple News because I remembered hearing about it at new-student orientation. I picked up a pitch that day and never looked back.
The Temple News office is one of my favorite places. It’s where I’d rush in from class to make it to the weekly meetings during my freshman year, each time leaving with a new op-ed pitch and a fresh argument building in my head.
It’s where I’d take over the section as opinion editor for my sophomore and junior years, and it’s where I learned more about teamwork and professionalism than any class could teach.
Our copious student media outlets helped me become a convergent journalist, someone who has experience in storytelling across various platforms.
Because I’ve dreamed of being a news reporter since I was a kid, I’ve tried to make the most of all the opportunities before me. I don’t listen to my Elvis song as often as I did in 2003, but I try to channel the same wholeheartedness every day.
When I wasn’t in the office or in classes, I was in a soundproof booth talking live on WHIP Radio, behind a studio camera filming Lo Último, brainstorming ideas for Temple Talk at a pre-production meeting or in front of my computer editing my own news packages for Temple Update.
Klein College’s classes and resources are incredible but the school you choose is only as great as you make it. Challenge yourself inside and outside of the classroom.
The beauty of campus media is that you don’t need experience to try it out. It becomes your experience.
Thanks to the portfolio I’ve crafted through student media, I’ve landed two internships and two jobs at TV news stations in Philadelphia before my senior year. So, I’ll give credit where it’s due: thanks, Temple.
I should thank my parents, too, for making me passionate about going to school — and Elvis for the hype song.
I think Kindergarten Jayna would be proud of the enthusiasm I’ve kept over the years. Even though I’m sad this chapter is coming to an end, I’m eager to see what door I’ll open up next.
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