Focus: Chelsea Thompson
July 8, 2020
By Chelsea Thompson
Multimedia Journalist, CBS-Austin News & Telemundo
My First-Year Experience
When I arrived at Texas State University in 2012, I was handed a book and told I would have to read it because it would be the topic of conversation in our US1100 class. The book was titled Where Am I Wearing? A Global Tour to the Countries, Factories, and People that Make Our Clothes.
As a first-year student who admittedly breezed through high school and graduated top of my class, I was not thrilled (at first) to dive into this book because the title alone made me uncomfortable — not that I was ever set in my ways, for lack of better phrases, but the title alone seemed long and unrelated to my American privilege. I am a daughter of immigrants and a first-generationcollege student, and the title made me feel like I was taking steps back, not forward.
Little did I know, this book would shape and set the foundation for what would be an incredibly memorable year.
CBS-Austin News & Telemundo
Co-Host, “We Are Austin”
Miss Capital of Texas 2019
Texas State Highlights:
– Class of 2016, Journalism and Mass Communication
– Minor in Spanish
– Track Team + Cross Country Team, 2012-2016
– KTSW Radio Morning Anchor, 2012-2016
– Student Foundation, 2013-2016
What College Is About
At just 18, we were having mature conversations. We were dissecting globalization and what it meant to work in factories. About family and sacrifice — I remember leaving that class each day feeling whole. I remember thinking to myself, “So this is what college is about."
As the years went on, I also had the opportunity to read Just Mercy — another incredibly, relevant and timely book!
I have so many fond memories of the Common Experience. But overall, I enjoyed the camaraderie and the conversation that it promoted. Texas State University is such a diverse campus — full of opportunity and positive challenge. But only if you’re willing to take it. In my opinion, it starts with a few close friends, a good book and an awesome conversation.
Although it’s called the “common” experience — it's truly one of a kind. And unique in many ways. I like to brag on my alma mater for many reasons but mostly for its acceptance and diversity.
Because the theme and its events change yearly, it’s always exciting to see what journey each class will embark on.
My favorite speaker (and I think I’m biased because I love all things film and writing) was filmmaker Robert Rodriguez. This Texas native spoke with confidence and inspired me to think outside the box.
Always Seek a Challenge
My favorite quote by Robert Rodriguez, something that stuck with me, is this: “The challenge is what was making it exciting.” He explained his love for film and moving-making by saying, “You don’t want anything too easy or you know that you can pull off. Otherwise it’s not worth doing.”
I learned very early on in college — my freshman year — to always seek a challenge and to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
I am so thankful for the Common Experience and my time spent at the best university in Texas. ✯