When I first transferred to the University of Georgia as a sophomore in the fall semester of 2017, I took Intro to New Media to gauge my interest in the New Media Certificate. To be honest, when my pre-Grady advisor first suggested that I take the class, I had no idea what I was getting into. Even though I’m a Journalism major and a Japanese minor, by largest passion, by far, is learning about technology. I’ve always been fascinated by the world of tech, and how our society interacts with it. Little did I know that I had just signed up for a class that would be filled with so many others that had that same exact passion.
I remember sitting in one of the massive lecture halls in UGA’s Miller Learning Center and feeling amazed that the 100+ other students in this classroom were all just as interested in new and emerging technologies as I was. Not just that, but Intro to New Media was the first class I had taken where I had been around so many other students in a classroom setting, yet I still felt comfortable, surrounded by friends and likeminded people. This feeling has carried with me throughout my entire time pursuing the New Media Certificate; this overall feeling of coziness, friendship, and dedicated learning.
Throughout my time in the NMI, I completed Intro to New Media, Digital Brown Bag, New Media Production, and Capstone. Looking back on it, even though I didn’t need it to complete the certificate, and it would have been extra tuition on my part, I so wish I had taken some of the NMI electives. I greatly envy my classmates that were able to not only gain more technical and design experience from the NMI than I was, but also the bonds they created with professors that I never had, like Chris Gerlach and Emuel Aldridge. Thankfully, the Emerging Media masters exists, and I have a feeling that whenever I inevitably come back to continue my education, it will be with that program specifically.
With that said, I have still learned so much from my time pursuing the New Media Certificate. Intro to New Media gave me the overall knowledge that I knew I was lacking from the tech realm; things like the IoT and SoC were suddenly in my knowledge-bank. I had never touched HTML or CSS in any way, so learning to build my own website from scratch in New Media Production was such a nice surprise. Digital Brown Bag taught me about the real world, and what to expect following my graduation. In fact, I now own a credit card, and I know how health insurance works thanks to the amazing Megan Ward. Finally, my experience in Capstone was extraordinarily beneficial for setting me up to join the real, working world. I finally experienced collaborating with a group of people for an extended period of time as we all worked to build a complete version of our AR history app, EraScope.
In short, the NMI has changed my life, and has made my college career so much more enjoyable. The NMI was there the second I transferred to UGA, it was there when I finished my degree, and I know for a fact it will be there in my future.