Why I Chose Journalism

Think back to high school, right before you went off to college. Remember that time? Everyone was asking where you were going and what you wanted to do with your life. Those never-ending questions seemed daunting for most of my friends; but for me, they were easy to answer. I knew what I wanted to do. I had known for a while, actually.

Hello, my name is Sara, and I want to be a journalist.

With that goal in mind, journalism was the obvious major. My instincts were right. I flourished in college. I had several internships in my desired field and joined my college newspaper, working my way up from staff writer to editor-in-chief.

But…why did I want to be a journalist? To most people who knew me growing up, it seemed an odd choice. Of course, I loved to write and had a knack for words. But grammar was never my strong suit (a great trait for an aspiring journalist), and I was naturally shy. So what the hell made me want to talk to complete strangers and pen their stories in proper sentences?

For one, I love words. I love playing with them. I love how I can take them apart and move them around to craft the perfect image of what I am trying to portray.  Some girls use clothing and accessories to show off their feelings; I do it with words. I loved reading as a child, and soon, that love of stories led me to write my own stories — at first fiction, but I wanted to find out the truth. I firmly believe everyone has a story to tell, and I want to be the one to tell it. The truth is far juicier than fiction anyways.

Also, I’m naturally attracted to things that scare me. So when I had to do “man on the street” reporting for the first time ever at my internship, I freaked out. I couldn’t possibly go up to random strangers and ask them questions. But I did. At first, it was horrible. However, the more I did it, the better it became. Now I go up to strangers all the time for work without even blinking. Journalism made me more outgoing — and I found out that I’m quite charming and funny when I need to be.

Finally, I believe in journalism in its truest form: It’s supposed to educate people. It’s supposed to let them know what’s happening, both around them and far away. It’s supposed to be “just the facts,” allowing readers to form their own opinions. Of course, our society has drifted away from that, but I do believe it is still alive in some cases. And I want to be a part of it. It’s my way of giving back.

That’s why I choose to be a journalism major. It worked out for me, too. Not even a year out of college, I’m working for a daily newspaper as a reporter.

Hello, my name is Sara and I am a journalist.

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