Actually, this semester went by astonishingly fast. And yet, so much transpired over the course of only 4 months. I embarked on the stressful process of applying to graduate programs, I wrote and edited for the “Creightonian,” I finally completed my monstrosity of a research project for political science and I bought a fish (who is still alive and happily swimming in his bowl).
Above all, my life has started to take on a direction. Over the summer, when asked what my plans were for after graduation, I would just toss my hands up in the air and look to the sky while exclaiming,”Well, I’m just going to apply everywhere and keep all of my options open and see what pans out.” Well, still have applied everywhere and I still want to keep all of my options open, but I have realized how much I enjoy writing and delving into the ideas and perceptions of others. Journalism is really a fascinating art, and in very few other fields can one learn about such a wide range of topics in such an in-depth way. Through my feature writing class, I have learned the many styles and techniques to gain insight into the lives of others, as well as the most effective approaches to sharing those insights with others. Journalism is a discovery process that requires several steps, with each step having the potential to take the writer in a completely new direction. Preconceived notions are defied, expectations are shifted and, at times, the world seems to be tilted on its head. That’s the pure ingenious, and beauty, of journalism.
Of course, there are certain ethical standards and contextual structure that journalists must adhere to, but the profession itself leaves much room for creativity and interpretation. When I am investigating a story and reporting, I do not feel confined to a rigid box. I can weave my own style and voice into a story, while simultaneously telling the story of someone else. As I’m writing this right now, I am smiling to myself because the idea of having my own personal “watermark” subtly integrated into each of my stories is just so neat, and makes me feel as though I am leaving a piece of myself for others to see.
As I spread my wings and venture out into the real world (man, does that sound cheesy or what?), I realize I want to stay connected to journalism in some way. I love the freedom to explore all angles of a story and the creativity involved in actually composing that story. Most of all, I love that discovery process of journalism, which, although immensely unpredictable, is thrilling and, in the end, rewarding. I love being a part of something bigger than myself–of capturing glimpses into the larger world in which I live.
I can’t predict where I will end up five, ten or 20 years down the road. But, then again, journalism is unpredictable.