What An Opportunity

Answering life’s Question as a senior in college

In Life, Sports on October 12, 2013 at 8:56 pm


Being a senior in college is great. You know your way around the campus that looked like a new world when you were a freshman; you’ve discovered your niche and stopped trying so hard to be someone you’re not; you have (pretty much) figured out how to balance your time between work and fun; and you’ve developed a circle of close friends at school. There is one part about being a senior, however, that isn’t very fun: Answering The Question.

The Question is the one everyone asks when they hear you’ll be finishing college soon. “So, what are your plans for after graduation?” I know people mean well, and I know they’re genuinely curious, but the concept just makes me uncomfortable. Am I really supposed to have my future figured out right now?

It’s October. I won’t be graduating for seven months, and then I’ll have to embrace full-on adulthood for the rest of my life. I feel ready for it; I truly do. I am also not panicking about landing a job.

But for some reason, The Question still makes me anxious. I think it irritates me because it forces me to think about life without my university, without my friends at school, without my hometown (as I will likely be moving wherever I am hired). But it also bothers me for another reason: more than half the time I respond to people and tell them that yes, I am going to continue pursuing sports journalism, they admonish me against it.

They tell me how little money journalists make, and how I should go into business and become wealthy. They tell me journalism is a dying industry, and I’d be wise to avoid it. This is what I say to everyone who has told me to avoid sports journalism: It’s my passion, and I’m going to chase that regardless of what you say. Truth be told, I have considered alternative careers – law school was a very real possibility for some time – but I’m not ready to give up on my dream.

I have wanted to work in sports journalism since I was 5. I know I’ll work for peanuts, and I know the industry is changing – but let’s make that distinction. Journalism isn’t dying; it’s changing. Newspapers and other print outlets are producing video content every day and interactive multimedia “parallax” pieces like The New York Times’ “Snow Fall” and Complex’s “Danny Brown/Sky High” on a regular basis.

I don’t see newspapers as the past; I see them as the future.

I am prepared to be a part of the change in journalism, and I’m going to love every minute I work in this industry – even though that means I’ll have to deal with seven more months of eye-rolling and The Question. I love what I do, and I’m going to keep doing it. If that doesn’t fit your definition of success, I question your definition.

  1. Great post, I am a senior in college as well so I know how you feel.

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