​Why I’m Choosing Journalism

​Why I’m Choosing Journalism

At this point, I can’t see myself being anywhere else
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Coming into college, I was completely unsure of what I wanted to do with my future. All I knew was that college had to come before whatever my future would hold and that I needed to make a decision; and fast. Some people who are undeclared struggle with finding a career path because they may not have a passion for anything. My problem was just the opposite; I had too many. I loved to write and I loved math. I also loved all things art involved like drawing and painting. At that point, I could only narrow down my options by the things I did not like; history, science, and anything having to do with computers or kids.

Being surrounded by all my friends who seemed to have their whole lives planned out (spoiler alert: they didn’t) was putting more pressure on me to figure out what I wanted to do. “Where do you see yourself in 10 years?” I would constantly be asked. I broke down in tears every time because I just didn’t know and I wish everyone would stop asking me and let me figure it out.

Speaking with one of my peer counselors this past February put everything into perspective. “Why don’t you write for The Odyssey?” And so it was.

Over the course of these past few months, I have written 37 articles and with each one came a sense of accomplishment. I felt a rush when I saw my name published and the page views racking up. People were actually reading my articles. People actually liked my articles.

Odyssey was the gateway to my decision to declare my major as Communication with a concentration in journalism. I applied for journalism classes last spring and here I am during my fall semester taking Introduction to Journalism. I’ve never been happier.

At first I do admit it was intimidating. I’m in a class with people who have known they wanted to go into this field since they were younger and here I am newly decided. I almost felt like I was intruding into some forbidden territory. I think this week has entirely changed my perspective, though.

They say that journalism gives someone a chance to unveil hidden truths and really discover things that no one else knew before. We as journalists are able to give a voice to those that may not otherwise have one. I kept on hearing people say that they wanted to be a journalist in order to help people and I just didn’t seem to relate to them. That is, I couldn’t relate until my first interview.

The interview process has always scared me as I do consider myself to be shy, but my first interview I ever conducted just so happened to be with my EOF director, Colleen Johnson. Although I was nervous going into the interview, I felt more at ease as the time went on listening to her answer my questions. I found the stories she told me to be something that not many people would know about unless they were put into an interview setting and it dawned on me in that moment that the emotions I felt while finding out all this new information was what everyone else was talking about. I was unveiling new information that affects people in the most private way, as if it were a well-kept secret.

It took me a long time to figure out where I want my path in life to go but I’m glad it came to me in a moment such as that one. Now looking back, I can’t imagine myself being an art major or a math major. I can only see a journalist and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Cover Image Credit: http://mediashift.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/bigstock-Blank-notepad-over-laptop-and-51253441.jpg

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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An Open Letter To Myself At 15

This is an open letter to myself about things I wish I had known at 15.

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Dear Hailey,

You are so loved. I know times might be hard, but it will all be okay. It's okay to ride the fence and be unsure of what you want to do with your life. You're going to change your mind 10 more times before graduation anyways. Also, don't worry about all of the things that you can't change. You can't make someone fall in love with you or make her treat you like a better friend. It's okay for people not to fit in your life. Stop bending over backward for people and live for yourself. In a few years, you will go through so much, but you come out on the better side. You are going to be successful and driven. Also, learn what the meaning of "self-care" is. You need to do a lot of that in the upcoming years. Mental health is more important than anything. Also, quit cutting your baby hairs. They will never get longer so you need to embrace and love them early on. Figure out what you can change, and what you cannot. Most importantly, accept what you cannot change. When you decide that you are ready to face the things that you can change, do it with your whole heart. That doesn't mean complete perfection. It's important to know the difference. Start by making a plan for the future. Write it down, memorize it, do whatever makes it the easiest for you. Think through your plan logically, take into consideration your strengths and weaknesses. Remember to do the hard things first once in a while, the relief is sweet in the end.

You are ready.

You are young.

You are smart.

You are beautiful.

If you ever feel that you are at your lowest point, just remember the only place that you can go is up. Find reassurance in the weakness. The best is yet to come. Don't take pity on yourself. Instead, work harder to make your situation better. Be happy. There are so many things to be thankful for. Ask when you need help. No one can read your mind. Time won't stop for you. Worrying and stressing is simply a waste of time. Be strong and know that you are in God's hands. Everything will work out. It may not be today or tomorrow, but eventually, the pieces will fall into place and you will understand why things had to happen that way.

Love,

Me

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