Here it is: Mizzou, or University of Missouri-Columbia.

After nearly two years of preparation and a series of self-doubts and stumbles, I received the admission letter from Mizzou’s prestigious School of Journalism.

To be honest, the time when Mizzou admitted me, I knew deeply in my mind: This is it. It’s my first reaction. No hesitation. No second thoughts.

Well, second thoughts intruded my mind after a couple of days when I told my friends that I am going to Missouri.

“Mizzouri? Misery? Mi-mi-what?” It is their reaction knowing of my decision. You know not a few people in Taiwan ever heard of the state of Missouri, let alone they know that there is a top-ranking Journalism school in the nation hidden in the Midwest.

Their response drained out my initial excitement and calmed my adrenaline. Or you can say their ignorance partnered with my annoying self-esteem drove me to a path of second thought.

It’s imbecile that I had that second thought, that doubt, and that reliance on how and what other’s perceive my decision, especially it’s based on their misunderstanding of Missouri.

Truth, however, speaks itself loud that this is the greatest decision that I have ever made.

There are three reasons why I choose Mizzou.

First, it is curriculum. Just check out our website. Its diverse tracks and hands-on real media training are cited the top 1 in the nation. http://journalism.missouri.edu/

It’s just hard to say no.

Then, budget. This is something I was shocked by University of Missouri. Why? More than 95 percent of graduate students and Ph.D. students at School of Journalism do NOT have to pay their tuition due to the holding of either graduate assistantship or teaching assistantship. This semester, I only paid $1,200. And I also get stipend every month. The amount of stipend depends on the number of hours one works a week and the budget of that program.

So, no tuition, no worries of living expense. All you have to do is “hey come over here, be productive and do great, professional news.”

The last reason is quite odd than others: I don’t want to live in major cities.

I’ve been living in a crowded city with more than 2.3 million population for 24 years. I want fresh air, big house, quiet night and sky full of stars.

I want quality of life.

But I should have known that once committed to journalism, there’s no such thing in life.

Anyway, I want to explore something I’ve never experienced before and it turned out to be a wise move.

Columbia’s family-based and hospitable atmosphere fits me so perfectly. The more I travel to different cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Boston and Baltimore, the more attached I feel for Columbia.

This is indeed the best decision ever: Mizzou.

So far, there’s no doubts on this biggest decision I’ve made in my life.


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