Living on a relatively remote Croatian island towards the end of the 1990s, as an 18-year old I impatiently and hopefully awaited for the Internet to arrive. I viewed it as my window to the world and was jealous of bigger mainland cities that already had set up systems and where more and more households were connecting to the web. I felt disadvantaged and missing out on so much.
As a high school student, I excelled in social sciences more than natural ones, especially in English and Croatian languages. I read a lot. Summers were reserved for fun, meeting people from across the globe coming to what is disputably known as Marco Polo’s island. I had no means to travel myself but it didn’t matter as everyone was coming here. Before the Internet made its way, these people were my window to the world.
After unsuccessful studies of English and Croatian languages and failing to become a teacher of these languages, in 2005, I enrolled in the newly opened ‘Media and Culture of Society’ studies at the University of Dubrovnik. After completing my BA studies I enrolled in a MA Media program, also at the University of Dubrovnik. The best decision of my life!
The curriculum was exceptionally academic with lots of research, and written and practical assignments. The timing couldn’t be better as it was when the first news portals and social media, such as Facebook, were starting to appear and gain momentum in Croatia. I will forever be grateful to ALL of the professors who in these times guided me through the ‘Holy trinity’ – media, politics, and public relations. They made me think deeper than the surface level. I was taught not only to be critical but also how to use media and communication as a positive, sometimes disruptive force in society, my local community, and the world. Most importantly, these professors equipped me to go out there and create opportunities for myself and those around me rather than wait and hope for change to happen by itself. Taking that path is not easy, but I can’t think of anything more rewarding.
To be continued...