Last semester was one of the hardest semesters I have ever had to endure during my college career. It seemed that I was constantly having to fight for the right to be here-in Chapel Hill and walking around on this campus-UNC at Chapel Hill…but I made it! And not only did I make it, but I finished well. I didn’t make the grades I would have preferred to make and along the way I had to drop a class that threatened my sanity and GPA (due to my illness), but I ended with dignity and I am very proud of myself.
During finals I had found myself pouring over our school paper The Daily Tar Heel during a break in studies and I noticed that the editorial page was hiring for the spring semester of 2010. I read on to see that the application and a 400 word article was due by that very day at 5:00 pm…it was 4:40.
I frantically emailed the editor sputtering on about my situation all the while knowing what I was sounding like (I despise excuses) and dove into the application and article. Two hours later in the middle of my “break” I finally finished it and emailed it off to the editor.
During my winter break I had met a partner of an national company who helped me get an interview for an internship at his company. I was elated at the thought of interning amongst the shiny dark wood floors that lined their building or hanging out around the bar with the staff on Fridays for social hour. Most importantly I knew that the experience I would receive would make me stand apart.
But the internship would be for a public relations position-not a journalism position. Although I am a journalism major my heart sinks a little bit more every time someone asks me what I am going to do because newspapers are disappearing. I realize that these statements are due to a bit of ignorance on the part of the individual and I need not fear if I can make myself marketable, but I cannot say that I don’t fret about whether or not I will make money when I graduate.
There is more of a yearning for information now than there ever has been. Journalists, writers, advertisers, etc can’t keep up with the vast pools of public swimming in for nibbles of information floating about-it’s a fight! But I don’t lose heart because I know that I have always been a hard worker and will do what needs to be done to make myself smile at the end of the day.
The question of this internship began to sit heavily on my shoulders as the initial excitement of being with such an incredible company wore off. I want public relations experience because they actually make money out of the shoot, and I can absolutely write, plan, etc-so I know I would be very good in a PR position, but I also wanted journalism experience.
I had already decided to quit my job with AT&T. It has been a long time coming and one that is both sad and freeing. The company is not the company it was when I first began but all negativity aside-I had realized that I was either going to have to pay for my schooling out of my pocket if I kept my job or quit altogether and eat beans and rice on student loans. I make too much for a college student. I am older and therefore qualify for pell grants which take care of my tuition and books and sometimes a sweet bit is left over for me. But as my father said-its all or nothing.
Besides, here I am at the #1 Journalism school in the US and I am not even able to attend the workshops they freely offer, I knew I would constantly be fighting for good grades, and I could forget about an internship–I would never have time! So how could I even hope to make myself marketable without contacts and experience?
It was a decision that took several months to make-I talked with my parents and my step-parents, I talked with some of my teachers, my friends and I thought and thought. I have NEVER been without a job before-not since I left home at 17. How was I going to be able to do it? It still petrifies me…..
Well the how is still working itself out but FAITH is going to be a huge part of that. I know that I am going to have to dare to do something crazy (to me anyway) in order to create something original and while I am scared-I am not that scared.
So in the middle of these huge decisions I was moving (for the 3rd time!!!) and finishing up school. I had filled out The Daily Tar Heel application because I knew I would have more time and I had jumped at the chance to become a part of a HUGE company, I registered for 17 hours, and I promised my dog we were going to be much more active this semester.
So I kind of let fate step in with the internship question and it’s answer arrived after a telephone interview with the editorial editor for the DTH. I went home for the last week before classes started and during that week I received an email letting me know I had been chosen to become a part of the editorial board at The Daily Tar Heel.
I was and am ecstatic! The newspaper is the most widely read student publication in the US and while I am not getting experience for something completely new-I will be learning to do well what I want to do for the rest of my life. I love to write and I need to continue learning how to write better. The newspaper is an excellent avenue for my growth to begin.
So, with all this time that I am going to have-know that I will be blogging much more and will post my editorials. Also, I have a reporting class this semester which makes us work a chosen beat in our community and report on it consistently. I chose the Hispanic populations in Chapel Hill/Carrboro as my beat-which I am stoked about! This class is going to be INSANELY hard but I am going to be a different person by the end of the semester and I can’t wait!
By the way, my last day with AT&T was yesterday, so here’s to day 1 of being a real student!