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.