I’m a senior in college, and I haven’t quite wrapped my mind around what that means.
If you’d have asked me last year where I thought I’d be at this point, I could not have told you I’d be the print managing editor for my university’s newspaper, or that I’ve already worked at two newspapers, or that I’ve decided to stop straightening my hair. I’ve never seen myself as leadership material, and I was a firm believer in a relaxer. Boy, things have changed.
I would not have been able to tell you that I knew exactly what I wanted to do, and I wouldn’t have been able to tell you what I was going to do when my four years of undergrad were up. Now, I can answer these questions with full – OK, partial – confidence, and that’s a lot more than what I could say for myself last year.
It’s taken a lot of late nights, criticism and come-to-Jesus moments to get where I am, but it’s shaped me into the person and journalist I want to be.
To be a journalist, I’ve learned you have to listen and think at the same time, which is a lot harder than it sounds. You also have to be aware of your surroundings and not afraid to ask the tough questions. In learning to do this, I’ve become a tougher, more intuitive person, a long jump from the shy girl I once was. But most important, I’ve learned the value of integrity.
Journalism isn’t just what you see on the news or in a newspaper, at least not to me. It’s about telling people’s stories and telling it in a way that makes them proud to be who they are; that’s the kind of journalism I’ve decided to dedicate my life to.
This is something I think about a lot, and in the next eight months, I hope to build myself into the kind of journalist I’d trust to tell my story.
My major has helped me grow more than I ever imagined it could, and I can’t imagine how much more I’m going to grow. I’ve never been more excited to move forward in life, and I can’t imagine where it’s going to take me next.