Greetings, everyone!

My name's Gillian Herrera (pronounced "Jillian"), and at the time of writing in mid-February 2012 I'm an 18-year-old sophomore in the Ernie Pyle School of Journalism at Indiana University, Bloomington! Although it is my first year in college, I was able to get a jump-start and enter the school with about 20 credits from AP classes in high school. I still feel like a freshman, though! I'm planning on graduating in 3 years, so my intended graduation date is May 2014. 

I was born in San Jose, California and I have lived in several locations in the state (I still feel a really strong connection to California) but I graduated high school from Penn High in South Bend, Indiana. My parents currently both live in the area, though they got divorced when I was about 2. I have 4 cats; two at my mom's house and two at my dad's house, and I'm ALL ABOUT them. Their names are Marjan, Mitzi, Buddy Nelson the Bandit, and Bellatrix. I'm about half Apache, and I'm a vegetarian. I love my family more than anything; cliche, but so true. 

I came into the college as a Direct Admit student to the Psychology program in the College of Arts and Sciences, but after the the first semester I decided that I wanted to switch to the J-school. So far I really like it--I have a concentration in International Studies and will be pursuing minors in that and Spanish. Shortly after deciding to switch, I applied to the Ernie Pyle scholars program, which is the journalism honors program. It only accepts about 20 students a year, and I was so excited to be chosen!

I have a lot of travel plans, since I love travel (ultimately, I'd love to be a traveling reported for National Geographic). Through the Ernie Pyle program I recently went to Chicago for a weekend, in Spring of 2013 I will go to their program in St. Petersberg Florida, and that summer I will be guaranteed a spot in their 8-week-long internship in London. This summer, I'm going to Switzerland with a friend. In 2013, I'm planning on studying abroad for a semester in either Australia or Spain. For many breaks I return to Los Angeles to visit family and reacquaint myself with my favorite place on earth. 

Admittedly, I didn't have the best first semester. I was slightly bored, upset that I didn't get a perfect 4.0 like I didn't get in high school, and I missed my parents. Now I believe that my happiness depends on my taking initiative to make the most of my experience. With that in mind, I recently enrolled at the Indiana Daily Student newspaper and applied to begin writing on this blog. I think that paying enough attention to this blog and, consequently, my life as an IU student will help me appreciate campus life more!

Things I like: Harry Potter, California, the Beatles, Avatar: the Last Airbender, Jack Kerouc, Cormac McCarthy, Michael Ondaatje, Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart, Rachel Maddow, conspiracy theories, journalism, poetry, atheism, e.e. cummings, the Dodgers, Damien Rice, OFWGKTA, travel, playing piano/violin, writing, '90s cartoons, Whose Line is it Anyway, Iron & Wine, the Shins, the Fratellis, water, environmentalism, metaphysics, karate, cats, smoothies, yoga.

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