If there is one thing that I've for sure learned in my two years of studying journalism, it's that it's not for the faint of heart. It's not for the ones who let their emotions get the best of them.
A lot of people nowadays seem to think that journalism is just writing a story for the world to see. While that's correct, there's so much more to it than that.
Sometimes, you'll write the stories that tug on your heartstrings: the mom who lost her son to cancer, the family who lost their son to a shooting, a boy who lost his dad to a drug addiction.
Sometimes, you'll get the stories that fill your heart with joy: a little boy hearing for the first time with cochlear implants, an animal shelter adopting out all of its pets, a woman who just celebrated 104 years of life.
While it's easy to let your emotions take over, you have to remember that you are a professional and you're there to tell a person's story.
Of course, the story begins with an interview: you'll spend a decent amount of time arranging a time and place to meet and come with more questions than you'll need, because, trust me, you'll veer off track if your subject starts talking about something super interesting.
If you're a multimedia journalist, you'll have to shoot video footage, interviews AND edit the whole thing together, which is time-consuming if you're not computer friendly or familiar with the software.
When you're actually writing the story, it's very possible that your interview takes another turn which allows you to think of a new angle. This angle may be better than your original idea, it just depends on the answers you get to your questions. You'll learn what questions to ask and which ones provoke the best answers.
Being a journalist is one of the most stressful, nerve-wracking and time-consuming things you'll ever do. Sometimes you'll get frustrated because of writer's block or computer issues or you just won't have the motivation to work on your story, but it's so worth it.
When you see your story online with your byline, when you see people sharing it on social media and when people tell you how good your work is, you'll feel so good.
All of that hard work you put into your story will pay off and it'll be something for your portfolio or just something to be proud of.
I didn't know what I was getting myself into at the time, but I know now that it's one of the best decisions I've ever made.