My Sleepless Nights and Increased Gray Hair are Over!

Posted: March 26, 2012 in Personal
Tags: , , , , , ,

Graduate school here at the University of Alabama has not been an easy adjustment.  I graduated with my undergraduate degree in 2008 with no academic background in journalism.  I only had a few electives in journalism, some internship experience at magazines, and of course, passion.  I’ve always thought I was a good writer, at least on a creative level, but this experience has challenged that a few times.  I’m always in this state of doubt or hesitation if this is the field for me. I never had that feeling working in the fast-paced, creatively draining environment of magazines, or the semester I had to churn out a memoir, one-act play, poetry anthology, and short story in my creative writing class.

The workload, oddly, doesn’t bother me. I like being busy and having something to do at all times.  I’m a nerd.  I own it.  I think my doubt comes from the fact that I’m constantly being grouped in this assumed lump that we all want to enter the newsroom or work for a newspaper. Well, I don’t.  I’ll compromise what type of magazine I want to work for until I can work my way up to national lifestyle publication or a fashion or entertainment magazine.  But I won’t compromise on the medium.  I’m even open to online or web editing.  So, even though this website we’ve been creating for the past semester has been the source of my increased migraines, gray hair, and lack of sleep, it’s the one thing that has kept me going.

I love what I created or what I attempted to create.  I am proud that what I envisioned came to life.  The thing I love most, however, is that we all picked an issue, topic, or problem that we were passionate about enough to address through our website.  We had some suggestions and critiques along the way, but of all the assignments we’ve had so far, this is the most creative freedom we’ve had.  It may not be an important factor for the rest of my classmates, but it was a significant aspect for me.  We all did an incredible job in a short amount of time, and I can’t wait to link our sites on here.  I think I’ll wait until we do our last presentation on “Journalism Day” this Thursday and get  feedback before I post, but they are all amazing.

I’m sure my classmates would agree that we all learned new skills and did something we’ve never done before for the sake of innovation and building community.  So, my long intro was just to say that despite the difficulties of graduate school, the self-doubt, and the emphasis on newspapers, all of that went away the second my website went live online.  It made me realize that I can do this and so much more, and I’m so ready to start applying for jobs and utilize the skills I’ve learned this past year.

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Comments
  1. Kristy Shaulis says:

    Keep the faith Michelle. I completely understand where you’re coming from. Ever since I decided to pursue law school, it’s been tough adjusting to the “you’re going to enter a small-market newspaper soon” environment here. I think you should be very proud of your site and keep your end goal in mind. With that, you can’t go wrong.

  2. Seems like this one-year learning experience won’t be a total waste of your time. This is good to know. Your honest, public reflection about the experience here is very interesting to those of us who work in the program as your instructors.

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