Meghan DeMaria

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BA 2013, Classical Civilization and English
Associate Editor, Digital Innovation, Refinery29

I graduated from UNC’s undergraduate program in 2013, with a degree in Classical Civilization and a second major in English.  I never really planned to go into a career in Classics, but I’d always been interested in the ancient world.

Ever since I was young, I’d been interested in a career in writing.  In college, I realized journalism would be a natural fit, and I started writing for the Daily Tar Heel and taking on magazine internships, even though it wasn’t my major.  I still loved that I was involved in Classics, though–it was something I probably wouldn’t have the chance to learn about again, and it always gave me an interesting talking point during interviews and at networking events.

For me, studying Classics wasn’t necessarily about things like being able to identify what century a piece of pottery was from.  Studying texts from authors like Euripides and Aristophanes encouraged me to analyze context on a deeper level and to keep asking questions, something I now do as a journalist.  Even if we don’t always realize it, Classics has a hand in so many things we do every dat.  Classical texts have inspired references in The Hunger Games and even The Lego Movie.  And long before the modern sitcoms I so love writing about existed, there was Roman comedy, a genre I was fortunate to learn about through multiple classes taught by the ever-brilliant Ted Gellar-Goad.

Classics isn’t an easy major, especially in UNC’s fantastic department.  There were plenty of times in college that I struggled to keep up with my peers and got frustrated by details of Latin declensions or memorizing archaeological images.  But it’s such a unique major, and it really will change the way you think about so many modern things.  Things like languages and vase styles might not be the same as they were back then, but today’s society is still trying to understand humanity, to think critically, just like the Greeks were.  I’ll always be glad that Classics was a part of my college experience, and I still use the skills I learned, albeit on a broader scale, every day.

August 2016