The third semester of my journalism program is days away from being over. This is the half-way point. 50% of my program is done. Even though we have another 4 months of work until we chose our final year path (print or broadcast), I’d venture to say the majority of my classmates already know which way they’ll be opting to go. Whereas for me, it’s the closer and closer we get to the deciding moment that I lose more and more of my assuredness in what direction I should go.
The (Attempted) HumblebragHumblebrag: “A form self promotion where the promoter thinks he is, almost subliminally, bragging about himself in the context of a humble statement or complaint.” via Urban Dictionary
I don’t know if there’s a way to say this without seeming like a total dick, but: I’ve always been good at a fair amount of things.
Academically I do well. I’m not a genius by any means, but the only subject that has totally evaded me is visual art. I cannot draw, sculpt, paint, design…anything visually artistic is beyond me.
But I’ve always been good at English. Reading and writing is my thing. I also love (and am not too shabby at…well, wasn’t) performance based arts like singing and acting. Math and Science are logical so once I get the formula I’m good. I’m also not a half-bad baker.
This is why I transferred from a regular, 2500 student high school to an arts one. Why I ended up turning down my acceptance into a university’s Communications program and spent a year off working at a theatre company. Why I got into one of the top Theatre Performance programs in the country and left of my own volition after eight weeks. When you can do a lot of things, it’s difficult to find the one that works.
And even though I’ve taken the college route and I’m studying only Journalism (and an elective here and there) the old problem of not having a stand out talent or knack for something is rearing it’s head again.
In the last weeks of the semester I had two of my teachers tell me to follow entirely separate paths. Both commended my work from the semester, said I showed promise in their respective fields and suggested I continue that way.
While both courses are ones that rely on writing, they differ greatly. One is broadcast, the other is essays.
And (of course) I like doing both of them.
In less than a year I’ll be embarking on my final year in Humber’s Journalism program. In even less time than that I’ll have my path chosen and (hopefully) have an internship lined up with either a print or broadcast company. And right now I have absolutely no clue where to go.
I could be good at broadcast. More importantly I could probably have an easier time getting a paying job in broadcast. Broadcast is fast paced (as is print, but you know what I mean) and seems like exactly the environment I would thrive in.
But I like print. I like writing longer, detailed pieces. I want to be able to dream about having an opinion piece written some day. I want to be on the subway and see someone devouring a review of mine.
And when it comes to enjoying my schooling, I’ve got to say I really like sitting down with a nice long poem and going to town on analyzing it. I like discussing what I’m reading. I like poetic devices. I get a kick out of comparing character archetypes.
So what I’m saying here is, sometimes, having the option to do more than one thing gets really stressful. I know that I’m lucky and that in journalism there is the ability to do more than one type of reporting. I know I can write for a daily but do freelance magazine work when I have an idea. I know I can pull clips and edit sound for a station while moderating an online newspaper.
It’s just that when you’re facing a final year where you have to go one way or another, leading to an internship that may or may not decide if you have a job upon graduation, it’s pretty finite seeming. It’s not be so much a “sink or swim” attitude for me as it is a fear of perpetually treading water.