journalism major

Please stop bashing my liberal arts major

I'm a journalism major, and I'm glad.

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When I tell people that I am a journalism major, I usually get different reactions, and most of them are not positive.

I get the question of "What are you going to do with that?" or "Isn't the newspaper business dying?" Both of these questions imply that I am not going to find a job after college; however, I don't think that's true. Even though the newspaper business may be declining, that's only because people are know moving from getting their news through print outlets to getting their news through digital outlets. Almost every major news business now has an online publication because they realized that people are getting their news this way instead. My current internship has an online publication and all of the articles I have written have ended up online primarily. Everyone is constantly on their phones, so they (especially people from my generation) are more likely to read news on their phones than a newspaper.

As a journalism major, there are a lot of different roads I could go down. Some of my friends who are journalism majors are going to law school. But other journalism majors go into print writing, broadcast journalism, social media marketing, public relations, and so much more. It's small-minded to think that just because one outlet of news is declining, that I may not get a job after I graduate. There are plenty of career roads I could go down after I graduate, even if it's not exactly writing for a newspaper.

Besides, employers always need people who are able to write, and society is always going to want to know what's going on in the news. We are curious, and we like to know what is happening around in the world, so news curators will always be needed.

I have also gotten the response of "oh, you're not going to make a lot of money." Yeah, maybe I won't. But again maybe I will. Either way, you don't know what kind of job I'm going to get or who I'm going to end up working for, so stop making assumptions about my future. Besides, if I don't start off making a lot of money, at least, I will enjoy what I am doing, instead of dreading to go to work everyday. According to an article by Reference.com, we spend about 30% of our lives working. That's a lot of my life that I don't want to waste away by hating what I do for a living.

I have also had people discount my major because they believe I took the "easy route" for choosing a liberal arts major. I may not be Pre-Med or taking a ton on hard math classes, but a.) the world needs more than just doctors. We need other professions out there to ensure that our democracy works smoothly and b.) Journalism is not always easy. In fact, at the University of Georgia, the Grady College School of Journalism is one of the top journalism schools in the country, meaning that it is pushing me to be my best and not letting me slide by being lazy. Journalism majors cannot be lazy. Outside of classwork, we often have numerous projects and tests in all our classes every week. These projects take time to put together, and we have to know how to use a wide range of programs. For example, in my Multiplatform Journalism class this semester, I have had to create a data visual, a photo essay, and an audio recording, and with each of these projects, I had to use different digital programs. Last semester, I took Graphics Design and Photojournalism, and I had to learn how to use Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, and much more. These programs aren't super easy to learn from, and they all take time to use. On top of these time-consuming projects, many journalism majors at UGA take time to write for a publication like the Red & Black or the Odyssey Online in order to enrich their writing experience. So yeah, it's a lot, and it's not taking the easy way out.

"Don't write fake news" is another response I get that annoys the heck out of me. I can't help but roll my eyes at this one. At the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, my professors harp the idea of double, triple, quadruple checking your sources. I know that some news out there may not be true, and fake news is spread a lot. But come on people, I am learning in my classes to make sure that what I write is true. Please stop assuming that all journalists lie because we don't.

Anyways, I'm proud to be a journalism major, and I am excited to go into the field of news and media.

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How To Stop Being The Toxic Person That You Would Normally Cut Out Of Your Own Life

It's so much easier to pin a problem on someone else than it is to look deep within yourself and take responsibility for the things that you've done. But that's all part of growing up.

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I'm sure you've heard it before...

"Cut someone out of your life if they negatively impact your mental health."

"You need to cut off friends, family, anyone that is bad for you and your future."

"You will be so much better off once _____ is gone from your life."

At this point in your life, you've probably cut off one or more people who you believed weren't good for you. You were prioritizing yourself, and that meant letting go of someone, regardless of the memories, bond, and love that you had for them. It was probably difficult, but somewhere down the line, you knew that you did what was best for you. And you stood by that decision.

But how many times have you been the problem?

How many times have you sat down and took the time to analyze a situation, only to come to the conclusion that YOU'RE the one that's messing up? And that if you changed x, y, and z, you could save or help your relationship with your friend, family member, or significant other.

Probably not very often.

It's so much easier to pin a problem on someone else than it is to look deep within yourself and take responsibility for the things that you've done. But that's all part of growing up. At some point, I hope you realize that you weren't so perfect either, after all. And when you do, this is what I want you to think about:

We all go through different phases of our lives, and it's okay to understand and acknowledge that this phase doesn't represent the best version of yourself. Character development isn't a strict upward slope, where you start off being a shitty, underdeveloped, immature person, but then progress into being an angel. There are going to be ups and downs. There are going to be moments where you're really disappointed in yourself, and can't believe that you let yourself slip up to that degree. We all have flaws, we all make mistakes. But also all have so much potential.

As long as you're willing to put in the effort to change (because everyone around you deserves that), then you're on the right track. And I'm proud of you for having the emotional maturity to self reflect and be better. That's the first step.

And the next step is going to involve putting everything you're saying into practice. I can't promise you that it's going to be easy. And I can't promise you that you're going to drastically permanently change overnight. If I did, I would be lying. But what I can promise you is that everything you're going to do will be worth it in the long run. I hope that's enough of a reason to dig deep for a new you.

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20 Things I’ve Learned By 20

A reflection on the biggest lessons I've learned.

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As I'm writing this, I'm five days away from my twentieth birthday and let me tell you, I'm feeling some type of way about it. I've learned a lot over the years so here are 20 things I've learned by the time I turn 20.

1. Getting older is bittersweet.

This one is pretty self-explanatory. While getting older brings exciting new experiences and people it also brings challenges that can be difficult and frightening. It also happens fast, real fast. You're not sure how you've come so far yet still have so far to go.

2. People come and go and that’s okay.

This one has been huge for me. You can feel pressured to keep in touch with people just because you've known them forever, even if your interests don't seem to align anymore. It's important to understand that every relationship in your life serves a purpose. Some are there to teach you lessons and others are there to get you through a portion of your life. It's okay that people come and go, it just means their purpose has been served. Chances are, that person taught you something about yourself or others along the way.

3. You can’t change people.

People change what they want when they want. Don't wait around for someone to fix something because you want them to you'll just end up disappointed.

4. Positivity and mindset are key.

While we all have our days, trying to live the most positive life possible does absolute wonders for how you feel and your happiness. Learning to accept situations for what they are and not dwell on the negative has been life-changing for me. Not only do you feel better, but others like being around you. In a world full of half empty glasses, be the person that sees it half-full.

5. Don’t compare yourself to others.

Whether it's while stalking beautiful Instagram models with flawless skin and perfect wardrobes or listening to my classmates talk about their internships for the summer, there is always something others have that you don't. It's important to remember that we're all on our own path. No one's circumstances are the same as yours. You are not behind nor are you ahead, and you are no better or worse than anyone else. We are all simply different.

6. Dress for success.

It's simple. When you look good, you feel good. While I know we all love our comfort colors and Nike shorts, wearing a cute outfit and feeling confident can do so much. On days you know you need to be productive, even just putting on a pair of jeans can help your mindset. Looking your best = feeling your best.

7. Find a fitness regimen that works for you.

Just because your friends swear by Orange Theory or doing an hour of cardio five times a week doesn't mean that's what's best for your body. It's taken me four years to find a routine that makes me feel good and confident. Experiment as much as you can. Try out free classes and find what you like.

8. Don’t be too hard on yourself.

Some things take a few try's before you finally succeed. I've learned that trying your best is all you should expect from yourself. We all fail sometimes and that's okay. When you do fail, feel free to laugh at yourself and use it as a learning experience.

9. Save your money.

I won't lie, I haven't quite mastered this one yet, but I am trying. We all have financial goals whether that's to travel, buy a house, or start a family. Stay conscious of what you're spending your money on. Do what you can now to set yourself up for success later.

10. Experiences are greater than material objects.

Experiences can include travel, going out to eat with friends, taking a day trip to an amusement park, or anything else you'll have memories to look back on from. Later in life, these memories will be far more valuable to you than material possessions.

11. It’s all up to you.

You decide what you want out of life. Don't settle for anything less than your dreams.

12. Surround yourself with people that bring you higher.

If you find someone in your life isn't contributing anything positive, it's okay to distance yourself. You don't have to cut the person off completely but spending more of your time with people who uplift you is the way to go.

13. Listen more.

Try to practice more active listening. It's good to let others feel heard. Listening not only betters your relationships but can be incredibly insightful.

14. Eat a salad.

I love junk food as much as the next person but eating healthy is important for not only your body but also your mind. While pizza and ice cream are okay from time to time, try eating more foods that nourish your body, you'll thank yourself for it later

15. Trust the process.

Whether you believe in fate, destiny, or nothing at all there seems to be some sort of flow to life. Every bad situation eventually pans out. Trust where you're at and no matter what's happening know that something better is ahead.

16. Care about the bigger issues.

Politics, the environment, animal rights, domestic abuse. Find issues you're passionate about and be an advocate. So many people turn a blind eye to the hard topics. Be the change you wish to see.

17. Make time for the people that you love.

They won't be around forever. Unplug and spend true quality time with the ones you care about most.

18. Stay true to yourself.

This is important in all aspects. Check in with yourself from time to time. Question whether or not how you're living aligns with your morals and beliefs.

19. Take risks.

Going to UGA was probably the biggest risk I've ever taken, and boy has it paid off. Without risks, we don't get rewards. Don't be afraid to fail and start focusing more on the present than the future.

20. It’s not that serious.

At the end of the day, nothing is as serious as we make it out to be. I look back on things that used to keep me up at night and laugh at how much worrying I caused myself for a situation that turned out just fine. Breathe and remember that the only way out is through.

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