When you get told that this one-credit class takes the work of a three-credit class it’s pretty discouraging. Why would you want to put in the work of a three-credit class to earn a single credit? However, I can confidently say that I learned more about a profession and this University in my three months with BYU-Idaho’s Scroll than I have over my extended college experience.
The first thing I learned is the importance of proactivity. Now this sounds pretty straightforward and it’s something that we all think we understand, but it’s applied heavily with the Scroll. At the beginning of the semester you’re assigned an editor and a number of article assignments. From there you have the entirety of the semester to complete those stories. It’s up to you to be proactive, go out and find the stories, set up the interviews, take the photos and eventually write the story. If you want to sit around for the entire semester and try and pull off all of your articles in the last two weeks, that’s your prerogative and it’s all on you to deal with the consequences of your actions. I’ve found that proactivity is a life skill that you can struggle to learn unless you’re thrown directly into the deep end of it, and that’s what Scroll does.
Second, I learned the importance of face-to-face interaction with people. With the pandemic and the Coronavirus going around, it often felt easier to email the people that I wanted to interview. I could sit down and take an hour to type out 10 emails, send them to people I thought would be an interesting interview and then hope that they respond. Often when they did it was met with confusion about what was being asked for and difficulty in setting up a time for a Zoom interview. However the process of figuring out where their office was and simply going to talk with them was invaluable. In face-to-face interactions I found that people are more willing to accept the interviews. This is something that can be applied to almost anything in our lives. Taking the time to meet face-to-face will always be more personal than communicating via technology.
Finally I’ve learned that for the most part, the University is led by people who primarily want to help students. In my time with Scroll I was able to meet with and interview several department heads, and as I asked them questions about the mission of their department it always came back to serving the students. Most of the faculty at this University are here to help.
Being a member of Scroll relies on real-world skills that often aren’t developed in other classes and are invaluable to our future, so even if it’s not your thing, try a semester with Scroll.