Sometimes, I just really hate being a journalism student. Journalism is one of those jobs that everyone thinks they're an expert on, whether they have any actual experience in it or not. In that way it's not unlike being mom, or the President of the United States. Everyone has opinions about The Future of Media, everyone remarks that "the newspaper business is really tough right now" (Thanks, Uncle Harry...WE KNOW) and everyone has ethical tips, story tips, tips on how to pretty much act like Dustin Hoffman in All the President's Men. I know I'm just a kid, but I actually go to school for this. All this stuff that you're imparting to me like life's great secrets? I talk about it, think about it and write about it every day. I was, in fact, fully aware that most people read the news online. But thanks.
Another thing people like to tell journalism students: there's no money in it. (Gosh, I don't know why they haven't given you your own show on MSNBC!) I've basically resigned myself to this, although there are days when I think that owning a new car at some point in my adult life might be nice. Realistically, I should bag a rich guy and call it a day, but my boyfriend is also a journalist and I have to say I'm pretty attached to him just the way he is, so I guess we're really up a fiduciary creek. (But you know, together. Aw.) By the way, I saw the Facebook movie last weekend--Mark Zuckerberg was a billionaire by the time he was 23. I'm going to be lucky if I have health insurance by the time I'm 23. (I know I should under Obama's new healthcare program, but as long as millions of people with guns and an eighth grade education are listening to Glenn Beck I'm not counting on that puppy just yet.)
I should lay off old people--they're just making conversation. My real favorite is when people comment (anonymously, of course) about how an editorial is bad "journalism." Excuse me, but are you fucking kidding me?
But you know what? We keep on plugging, we future journalists of America, even though some of us are inevitably the future service industry workers of America. Sometimes I think I might want to get into something else before it's too late, but really, it's never too late. Maybe I'll go to grad school and be a teacher. Maybe I'll get into nonprofits. Neither of which are much more profitable than journalism, so maybe I'll really sell my soul and go into advertising. (Granted, most of my ideas about advertising come from Mad Men, but if there's even half as much drinking and midday sex as there is on that show you can sign me up.) For now, though, it's journalism for me. The thing is, I just really love to write and I really love hearing people's stories. And I'm really bad at math.
I would appreciate it Pete Seeger could just be my grandpa. Well, him and Joe Biden.