Features Editor Alex Nathanson ’24 sits down with Britta Treu ’23 to discuss her major, involvements on campus and advise for effective communication.

Tell me a little about yourself!

My name is Britta Treu (pronounced Troy) and I am a senior communication studies major with a minor in music and a pathway in entrepreneurship! I’m a captain of the women’s lacrosse team, a trumpet player and section leader in the Scot Band, president of the Wooster Christian Fellowship, leader of the Athlete’s Intervarsity Fellowship, a member of the Shades of Gold acapella group and I live in the People-to-People Ministries service house!

How do you balance your studies with all the extracurricular events you’re enrolled in?

I am a busy student, athlete and musician on this campus. My schedule is very hectic, but I like that – it keeps me on top of everything. Since the beginning of lacrosse season, we have been busy practicing five days a week. Both my coach and my band instructor have been very understanding about working with me as a fourth year and allowing me to split up my responsibilities. With this being my final semester at Wooster, I want to make the most of it and enjoy all the organizations I am a part of to the fullest!

What made you choose your major?

This surprises everyone I tell it to, but when I was young, I had a lot of anxiety when talking to certain people in my life. I could easily open up to my parents and my friends, but with others there was something that prevented me from feeling comfortable and I could never pin that down. I’m very thankful for my friends who pushed me to do the little things that I didn’t want to, like calling a relative or ordering a pizza, because I feel like it pushed me and helped make me who I am today. I started gaining confidence and realized that I loved presenting in class, and then I spoke at my high school graduation. I’m trying to speak at commencement this year as well! I have a deep appreciation for basic communication skills and hope to use my skills to do better in the world. Communication is the key to success, and there are a lot of people out there today who struggle with understanding that. That’s actually what a lot of my I.S. is about: how and why people today struggle with face-to-face communication, especially since the pandemic.

How has the pandemic impacted your college experience, particularly as a communications major? Have you noticed any shifts in communication on campus following the pandemic?

It’s easy to focus on the negatives, but there are things that I’m grateful for from that period. When classes went back to being virtual in the fall of 2020, I was able to go up to Northern Maine and spend my grandmother’s last month with her, which was only possible because I was not required to be on campus for that semester.

I think we’ve evolved into a very self-centered culture, and I try to be conscious of not falling into that. The ability to be present with others and have a genuine conversation with someone is something that we see less and less nowadays not only in classes, but also socially on the weekends.

Do you have any plans following your bachelor’s degree?

I am keeping options open right now but am looking into internships and possibly starting up a business. I’ve always thought I might want to be on TV as a broadcaster. When I was in high school, I went to a news station in Cleveland near my home and learned about the business, so that’s a possibility for me. Another thing I’ve thought about is starting my own lacrosse program in Maine, where my mom is from. I’ve coached club lacrosse for three years and I love inspiring and encouraging the young women to perform and be the best they can be. 

Do you have any advice for first or second years in regards to effective communication on campus?

Be confident in your voice. Ask questions of people who are in higher positions than you and network as much as you can. If you think you cannot do something, you just need to work with your advisors, coaches, directors and so on so you can continue to do what you enjoy. Do not take no for an answer that easily, and let people know who you are by building relationships. 

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