Happy New Year and welcome aboard! =) Hope you're doing well today - I have a journalism degree as well (Eastern Illinois University).
If this helps, besides what's already been mentioned, there's a Humanist religious group, the Ethical Humanist Society of the Triangle (http://www.ncethicalsociety.org/) that meets Sunday afternoons in Chapel Hill. I know the person who's the Leader there; give them a try sometime.
After you've searched for topics of interest in "Groups" above and in the "Forums", don't forget to look at recent activity which hides along the right margin of the page all the way at the bottom.
On a personal note, I've developed an animated gif technique, sort of “pull quote marries slideshow”. Samples are scattered across various groups, but you can find them easily by going to my twitter account. Each tweet has a link (after the description and before the hashtags) to a visually rich example here at Atheist Nexus. If you like them, please follow me
Hi Sophia Welcome to this world of rationality and peace, where pure common sense is enough to lead to the open freethinking wisdom common to non-believers like you and us. We know you are right. You know you are right. Your friends and family are just so wrong. We invite you to join the busy group "ORIGINS: Universe, Astronomy, Life, Earth, Humans, Religion, Gods, Atheism, Evolution, Darwin..." with 720 discussion topics and 3700 members. http://www.atheistnexus.org/group/originsuniverselifehumankindanddarwin Terry
Wow, that's rough. At least the SDA church isn't completely down on education, like the Pentecostals and Jehovah's Witnesses are. You should be able to get a decent education, except perhaps in some areas of science. But, then you're going for a humanities degree, so that's not as much of an issue. You can supplement your scientific understanding with outside sources.
I take it you're not out of the closet to your family? You're going to have trouble finding atheists at SAU, I imagine. You should get out more. ^.^
We've got several local groups in the Triangle, although most of the activity is in north Raleigh and Durham. TAM and FAAST organize through meetup.com. The Triangle Freethought Society has its own website. There are a bunch of other assorted groups, like a skepticism group (which is full of atheists) that meets mostly in Raleigh.
TAM and FAAST are more social groups. We had a bit of a schism, due to the noisier Libertarians in TAM. There's a great deal over overlap between the two groups.
The skepticism group is a bit of a spinoff that gets together specifically to talk about science stuff.
TFS is a politically active group. They're the most formal of the batch. It's Todd Stiefel's baby.
I had several clients in Clayton. I know what a long drag it is, although you'd at least just have to spin up around 40 to 440, and you're in north Raleigh. Depends what part of Clayton you're in, I guess. It'd be hell on the pocketbook, though, paying for gas and car maintenance.