So last week my career as a college student at the University of Washington came to a bittersweet end as I graduated (Thursday, Department of Communication; Saturday, UW). Starting out as a freshman back in 2004 (good lord, has it really been four years?!), I didn’t really know where I was going or what I would be doing. Okay, so maybe that’s only a partial truth. Since middle school I knew that I wanted to go into journalism–print, not broadcast because public speaking and the thought of being on camera do not sit well with me. It’s possible that this all came to me earlier, but middle school was my first concrete memory of actually saying, “I want to write for newspapers.” That dream has been amended slightly from newspapers to magazines in the long term, but in the short term I’m not overly picky and plus, that’s besides the point.
For the longest time, I knew that I wanted a career where I was surrounded by the written word. My first dream career was to be a novelist. The first thing I remember writing was a story in first grade about a rabbit. I don’t remember the story line, but nowadays, I can’t help but make the comparison between myself and a certain woman who created a certain boy wizard whose first story was also about a rabbit (whose name was Rabbit; my rabbit’s name has sadly been forgotten). I’m not saying that the similarities prophetize anything, but knowing that J.K. Rowling and I have at least one thing in common makes me smile :-).
Throughout elementary school and even in middle school and high school I continued writing stories (many started but only a few were actually completed). High school was also when I got involved with The Hawkeye, the student newspaper at my school. For my senior project, I created a hip-hop features magazine called 4elements. Needless to say, not just journalism but also writing have always been my “thing.”
Fast forward to the 2004-2005 school year. After being in a freshman interest group (FIG) with a communication and comparative literature class, I’m taking classes that are scientific in nature to appease the parentals and their dream of me going into computer science, pharmacy or some other non-liberal arts type field. I’m pretty much miserable and it’s not until I ditch that horrible idea and get into the journalism department that I really enjoy school. Fast forward again to June 2008 and here I am, 22 years old with a bachelors degree in journalism with a vague idea of what I want to do, but nothing quite concrete in terms of work or even prospects.
Nervous much? Just a bit. However, to assist in my endeavor of finding a job in the field of journalism, I’ll be attending the Unity ’08 Convention in Chicago. I’m pretty excited since this is the first journalism-related trip I’ve taken that’s not also tied with school. It’s also my first real visit to the Windy City so I definitely want to take advantage of that. I’m considering going to a Cubs game while I’m there since they’ve got home games the whole time I’m there but we’ll see how that works out with the workshops and sessions. We’ll see since first and foremost I’m there to meet people, network and hopefully find a job.
I now leave you with a poem reflecting what’s going through my mind and probably the mind of many 2008 graduates:
Post Grad Job Search
Relax and don’t
let it get to you.
Don’t let it be known
that you’ve been wandering—
when you’ll get
to where you’ve been headed.
Hopefully whole, healed
and feeling not too trampled upon.
You probably know what they need
and they most likely know what you’ll say
because it’ll be nothing but repetition
for both sides
of the party.
let that determine
your photo finish.
Figure it out for yourself
where those bits of you
flying through cyberspace will land.
It all comes down
to the hire.