I began my college career with hopes and dreams of becoming a journalist, specifically a reporter.
I loved the flow and speed of the newsroom. Writing every week, following deadlines and speaking with people around my campus. After a year of a writing what others wanted me to write, I realized I didn't like the lack of control –– often the lack of emotion and creativity –– associated with most traditional journalism.
I fell in love with journalism in high school when I found my place (a little too late) my senior year in the newsroom.
We created a monthly news magazine that combined creative layouts with interesting photos and in-depth feature pieces. I loved it! I was incredibly dedicated to my writing and the stories I told. I started to miss that feeling in college when I was writing for a traditional newspaper.
Now, as I enter my junior year of college, pursuing two majors (Journalism; Strategic Communication), I am still unsure of where my writing career will take me.
I love content marketing, creating content that people enjoy reading with a specific purpose –– to inform and enjoy. I love managing pretty much anything. Having control of a project's flow, intent, and design is where I thrive. I love social media, too. Working with people in an interactive space to promote a company or organization just feels right to me.
There are many aspects of journalism that I love, but I also love branches of journalism –– writing for different purposes than always informing in a traditional manner.
Many of my journalism friends are struggling with the same problem, "I love writing, but I don't know if journalism is right for me anymore."
For me, journalism will always be something I enjoy, but I don't want to be only a journalist. I want to do more.
The news is changing. People are changing. The way we communicate is changing. There is always a need for news, but in this difficult time for journalism, it is okay to want to do more than just writing as a reporter for the local news station. Just because you study and major in journalism doesn't mean you're stuck with two or three career options.
As a journalist, you have a love for a skill that many hate: writing! Use this rare passion how you intend –– not how a professor, friend or family member thinks.
There is somewhat of a stigma around journalism majors because of how journalists are viewed in mass media today, but I think journalism can be viewed in an entirely different way! Journalism is a passion for writing. Journalism is creatively telling a story. Journalism is connecting with others.
Journalism is not just reporting.
For anyone looking to study in journalism (or are currently studying), remember one thing: you may be a journalism major, but you can be more than "just a journalist." There will always be a need for quality writers, whether that's in the newsroom reporting the latest crime, for a magazine designing the perfect layout for a story on the latest fashion trends, or behind the screen live-tweeting an art show.
I may be studying journalism, but I want to be more than a journalist in my career.