Five Things You NEED To Know Before Becoming A Journalism Major

5 Things You NEED To Know Before Becoming A Journalism Major

True talent and integrity will make one person stand apart from the rest.


There are very few things in this world that I am more passionate about than writing - so passionate, in fact, that I aspire to sculpt a career out of it. Though I am only a sophomore in college, I have already faced an unreasonable amount of trials and tribulations after selecting journalism as my major. I find myself continuously challenged as I pursue new topics to discuss and explore the world of writing from a variety of lenses. Yet, I would not change it for anything. If you are entering college with the consideration of a major in journalism, or are simply intrigued enough by the concept to change your major, I suggest taking note of the following so you may be confident in your decision.

1. There will be people that do not understand or support your journalistic endeavors

As unfortunate as it may be, I have been confronted with the question of how exactly I plan to "make it" in this field numerous times. I have been told that journalism is a dying major, and have been reminded on countless occasions to be mindful of my words due to the rising controversy within this industry. After roughly two years of contemplating these questions, I can safely say that I have crafted the ideal response. I tell those that are doubtful that true talent and integrity will make one person stand apart from the rest. I can only hope to be that one.

2. You may reconsider your choice of major

Due to questioning from others, you will likely experience a time where you reconsider all that you are striving to become in this field. You will compare your pieces to the work of others, feel that your writing is not good enough, and become discouraged by an altogether lack of motivation. I do believe that, if you are passionate about this major, it is not something to simply give up on. Work harder, write stronger and dedicate yourself to your words. The rest will fall into place.

3. You will be forced to discuss topics you find uncomfortable

Whether it is in classes or in the industry itself, it is required of you to discuss topics that may seem unnatural to you. In a similar sense, you may even be asked to write about topics you find irrelevant. Regardless of the subject at hand, I encourage you to engage in a new adventure and share your sincere and honest opinion on the matter. Readers may agree or disagree with your standpoint. Nevertheless, your strength as a writer will increase, and you will feel an overwhelming sense of accomplishment as you leap out of your comfort zone.

4. Deadlines are incredibly real

I am currently enrolled in a news writing class, though my professor has chosen to treat the course as if we are employed at a major company within the industry. We are given deadline upon deadline, some of which occur at rather inconvenient times of the week (yes, I have homework due on Saturday nights). As stressful as this process may be, I find it incredibly helpful in regards to preparation for a job in the real world. Within this major, you will be assigned to cover beats without a prior notice. I have learned to treat this class as if I were an employee because, in the real world, if you fail to meet a deadline, your career may be in jeopardy.

5. Portfolios are EVERYTHING

Whether you are applying for an internship or a job, any form of employment in this industry requires one to have pieces of reference. I believe it is crucial to stay organized and keep a collection of not only your strongest pieces, but all of your writings. After all, the words that may be disregarded by one person may mean the world to another.

I am a firm believer in pursuing what you love. Handle the stress to the best of your ability, for the outcome will be greater than you ever expected.

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I Am A College Student, And I Think Free Tuition Is Unfair To Everyone Who's Already Paid For It

Stop expecting others to pay for you.


I attend Fordham University, a private university in the Bronx.

I commute to school because I can't afford to take out more loans than I already do.

Granted, I've received scholarships because of my grades, but they don't cover my whole tuition. I am nineteen years old and I have already amassed the debt of a 40-year-old. I work part-time and the money I make covers the bills I have to pay. I come from a middle-class family, but my dad can't afford to pay off my college loans.

I'm not complaining because I want my dad to pay my loans off for me; rather I am complaining because while my dad can't pay my loans off (which, believe me, he wants too), he's about to start paying off someone else's.

During the election, Bernie frequently advocated for free college.

Now, if he knew enough about economics he would know it simply isn't feasible. Luckily for him, he is seeing his plan enacted by Cuomo in NY. Cuomo has just announced that in NY, state public college will be free.

Before we go any further, it's important to understand what 'free' means.

Nothing is free; every single government program is paid for by the taxpayers. If you don't make enough to have to pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. If you live off welfare and don't pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. When someone offers someone something free, it's easy to take it, like it, and advocate for it, simply because you are not the one paying for it.

Cuomo's free college plan will cost $163,000,000 in the first year (Did that take your breath away too?). Now, in order to pay for this, NY state will increase their spending on higher education to cover these costs. Putting two and two together, if the state decides to raise their budget, they need money. If they need money they look to the taxpayers. The taxpayers are now forced to foot the bill for this program.

I think education is extremely important and useful.

However, my feelings on the importance of education does not mean that I think it should be free. Is college expensive? Yes -- but more so for private universities. Public universities like SUNY Cortland cost around $6,470 per year for in-state residents. That is still significantly less than one of my loans for one semester.

I've been told that maybe I shouldn't have picked a private university, but like I said, I believe education is important. I want to take advantage of the education this country offers, and so I am going to choose the best university I could, which is how I ended up at Fordham. I am not knocking public universities, they are fine institutions, they are just not for me.

My problems with this new legislation lie in the following: Nowhere are there any provisions that force the student receiving aid to have a part-time job.

I work part-time, my sister works part-time, and plenty of my friends work part-time. Working and going to school is stressful, but I do it because I need money. I need money to pay my loans off and buy my textbooks, among other things. The reason I need money is because my parents can't afford to pay off my loans and textbooks as well as both of my sisters'. There is absolutely no reason why every student who will be receiving aid is not forced to have a part-time job, whether it be working in the school library or waitressing.

We are setting up these young adults up for failure, allowing them to think someone else will always be there to foot their bills. It's ridiculous. What bothers me the most, though, is that my dad has to pay for this. Not only my dad, but plenty of senior citizens who don't even have kids, among everyone else.

The cost of living is only going up, yet paychecks rarely do the same. Further taxation is not a solution. The point of free college is to help young adults join the workforce and better our economy; however, people my parents' age are also needed to help better our economy. How are they supposed to do so when they can't spend their money because they are too busy paying taxes?

Free college is not free, the same way free healthcare isn't free.

There is only so much more the taxpayers can take. So to all the students about to get free college: get a part-time job, take personal responsibility, and take out a loan — just like the rest of us do. The world isn't going to coddle you much longer, so start acting like an adult.

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Writing Saved My Sanity

Write it all down when you can't talk to anyone.


I love writing.

I have since elementary school, and I've dreamed of becoming a published author. I started off writing stupid plays in elementary school, then it grew it almost writing a full-blown novel in middle school. I have no idea where that thing went to. It was all notebook paper and bad writing. In high school, my writing was kinda pushed to the side so I could focus on school. When I entered college, I started writing small poems about my now ex-boyfriend.

I was scared to express myself to him sometimes, the intensity of my feelings for him scared me. So instead of telling him, I wrote them down. When I tried to share them with him, he hated it. He thought writing down feelings was weird and creepy. So I didn't share anything else with him. When we finally broke up for good, everything just poured out of me. What I couldn't express verbally, I wrote or typed out.

I always have ideas flowing through my head. They never cease and I wouldn't want them to. Writing gives me an escape, from stress, work, school, or fights. It gives me a place to vent and to be open with everything. This is a reason I love writing for Odyssey, not only has this place brought me amazing friends but revived my love for writing. I'm never without my notebook anymore, I'd get distracted in class by an idea and have to write I think then and there.

I love sharing my more personal writing with close friends, especially my poems as of late. I found that I have a voice for young women who find themselves in a toxic relationship much like mine was. I want to speak out and show them that you can grow from the bullshit. It may take some time, but you will be better.

Writing saved my sanity. It allows me to express myself without having to use my actual voice. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate public speaking. I tend to psych myself out leading up to it. My current projects include writing for Odyssey every week, I'm in the process of trying to continue my short stories, and I'm excited to announce that I'm currently working on my very first poetry book!

Writing has given me so much, and I'm so looking forward to making a career out of something I love so much.

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