Runners often say “It’s not about how you start the race but rather how you finish”. The same can be said in regards to college. Many students will often do quite well until their final semester. After four years, some feel trapped and so they flake out on their classes and grades. Others are stressed about an unknown future and can hardly pull themselves out of bed.
For Gabriel Meyr, who took 18 credits and was engaged during his last semester, it first seemed like a recipe for disaster, but ended up being one of his most meaningful experiences at BYU.
“The first part of my last semester was really hard because both my wife and I were super busy and we wanted to finish our time here strong,” said Meyr. “Suddenly, I started thinking about how I was going to be starting a family soon and my classes became more real. I began to take them more seriously, and it ended up being a really great semester.”
Meyr grew up in a small town in Oregon and ran track and cross-country in high school. Following his graduation he attended the College of Idaho for a year then served a mission in Tennessee. Like many returned missionaries, Meyr decided to transfer to BYU after his mission.
“I originally came to BYU because I wanted to get into their accounting program,” said Meyr. “I knew that it was a safe career and that I’d always have a job. I got through a couple of the prerequisites and quickly realized that this would not be a good fit for me.”
Meyr experimented with several other majors, but it wasn’t until he counseled with his dad that he discovered the right major.
“I remember one day I was talking with my dad and he suggested that I try journalism,” said Meyr. “I thought that sounded like a good idea because I always enjoyed writing and I eventually wanted to be a part-time writer. My only concern was that I wasn’t sure it would be stable career path.”
After just one class, Meyr was instantly hooked and knew it was what he wanted to do for a career. However, his doubts about career stability remained. In the past few years, journalism has had massive layoffs. But Meyr feels that the field is going through some necessary changes and that there are plenty of new and exciting opportunities.
“BYU’s journalism program has taught me that there are new technological tools out there to get the news to people and that it’s important to learn these tools,” Meyr said. “In our society technology is constantly changing, but the people that are aware of these changes and adapt to them are the people that will have jobs.”
In one of his internships, Meyr interned locally for Utah Technology Magazine, an electronic publication about start-ups and new technologies in the area. His responsibilities included writing feature articles for the publication, several of which ended up on the front cover.
Currently, Meyr and his wife Taylor are living in Virginia and Meyr is looking for employment in Washington D.C. The couple will be graduating this August and Meyr will be speaking at the CFAC’s convocation. His wife is graduating in political science and is the department’s valedictorian. They are both grateful for their families, professors and others who sacrificed to make their experience at BYU great.