A Year of Reflection

A year ago today I began blogging.

A year ago today, I was one month into my freshman year as a journalism major. I wanted to do as many journalism things as possible, starting with creating and writing for my own blog.

I also created my blog as an outlet. As a naturally curious person (being a journalist 101) I have always had strong opinions on pretty much everything, and I wanted a way to express myself. I was also very shy about publicizing my opinions. I absolutely hate confrontation, so was afraid of what it would feel like for random strangers to disagree (or agree) with my opinions, and I was nervous about publishing my writing for the world.

But, as I sat in my dorm one day reflecting on my first month in college, feeling many mixed emotions, I created my first blog post. Since then, I have promised myself that whenever something crosses my mind- an opinion, a question, a story- I will blog about it. My blog has stories ranging from ranting about the drinking age in the U.S and traveling around New England to a very terrifying experience that triggered a conversation on gun control.

I look back and am incredibly glad that I made a point to document these thoughts through writing: something that I have always loved and am now pursuing.

Of course, as a student, there were many distractions from my blog. I also wanted to join the school paper and broadcast news service. I was that freshman that joined way too many clubs to find my niche on campus. By the end of first semester, I hadn’t found it. I was frustrated and disappointed at how unhappy I was as I reflected back. I didn’t find a club on campus that was home. Second semester, I focused on other things, including my blog. I continued posting and focused on my studies.

Over the Summer, I reflected upon my first year in Boston. It had its ups and downs, but one major thing that was still missing was my niche. I wanted to find a club on campus that I could learn in, grow in, lead in and pursue journalism in, outside my classes. I was determined.

I decided to apply to a publication that would be new to campus in the Fall. It seemed different to the previous publications I had tried and I thought, why not? So, I signed up to be a writer and applied for a head position.

Come the Fall, I interviewed for the position and got it. I was thrilled. This was going to be my thing, finally. I couldn’t wait to grow as a writer and leader with the publication and be a part of something that I loved.

A couple weeks into my position, I encountered a dilemma. I treated it as a personal dilemma at first, yet the more it grew I realized it was a professional dilemma, one that I could definitely see myself encountering in my future career as a journalist. I did not agree with the content of the publication. Don’t get me wrong- I understand the importance of objective reporting. It is without a doubt an important quality in a successful journalist. Rather, I found that the values of the publication were not ones I stood by. And as I watched material get published under my leadership, I became ashamed to be associated with the publication.

My dilemma, however, was that I didn’t want to add another failed campus club to my list. I wanted it to work out so badly, so I tried to convince myself that I should stick with it. In the end, I made the decision to leave the publication. I realized that an important quality in a journalist is the trust and validity that lies with their audience. If i was responsible for content that I believed was offensive or unprofessional, how could I be a trusted and valid journalist to the people that I expect to read my writing? I couldn’t. So I said goodbye to campus publication number three.

New focus: my blog. My studies. My interests.

Moral of the story- college is for figuring things out. You might love what you try. You might hate it. But either way, it is one less experience to tick off your list when you enter the real world as a professional. I’m confident that if I pursue what I love because I actually really enjoy it, not because I need to do every thing I can possibly do that fits my major, then I will end my college career with valuable learning experiences, and a goal for what I really want to pursue.

Happy one year anniversary, Journey to Journalist. Here’s to another year of speaking my mind for the world wide web.

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