An Open Letter to Macleay, and How it Saved Me

Dear Macleay,

Firstly, thank you. Thank you for a wonderful year, full of great people, hard work, and wonderful experiences.

This year is one that will go down in history as possibly the best (and hardest) year of my life. I’ve accomplished more than I ever thought I would, but I’ve also had some pretty major setbacks. Some so excruciating that I contemplated packing my bags and leaving Melbourne (and my career) for good. But thankfully, I had you. Motivating me, and pushing me to always be better.

I think I always knew that I wanted to be a journalist. At the age of 10, I kept a journal of the daily (and at times hourly) news coming out of Iraq at the beginning of the War. I spent countless hours watching and studying the news, which gained the attention of not only my parents but my school teachers as well. Every morning my teacher would read my recount of the news from the night before, and despite my lack of knowledge of the journalism craft and what the industry had to offer, my teacher sat me down and told me to follow my dreams. From then on, I knew this would be my lifelong passion.

I moved to Melbourne in April of this year from Brisbane, Queensland. Various people have asked my reasons behind making the move and my answer is always the same. Journalism, and Macleay College. And at the end of my first day at Macleay, I knew in an instant that I had made the best decision of my life.

But it wasn’t always easy. I missed my family immensely, I hated the weather (still do), and I was feeling extremely lost and alone. Thankfully, though, you provided me with a positive and nurturing environment for me to throw all my energy into. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

The experiences I’ve had this year, particularly in the last 8 months, have been nothing short of remarkable. I spoke on radio, I sat in on countless lectures from industry professionals. But the highlight of my year was meeting my idol, Mia Freedman and interning with her. None of these experiences would have been possible if I had succumbed to my homesickness and given up on the dream. So in some ways, you saved me.

Macleay, I cannot speak highly enough of you to those at home that ask about my life. It has been an adventure like no other. And I can confidently say that the only reason I am as happy, confident, and successful as I am right now, is because I chose to follow my dreams, move to Melbourne, and study at Macleay.

So as the academic calendar comes to close, I want to thank you. Thank you for igniting the fire in my belly, for making me realise my dreams, and for helping me harness my passion and love for journalism. But most importantly, thank you for saving me this year.

Here’s to 2017!

By Lauren Kavanah
Bachelor of Journalism


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