Sometimes I go to the Univerity of Montana website and check out the journalism page.
It usually depresses me.
During my last semester of school I became really, really disillusioned with the J-school. I went into the school with big dreams. I thought I was a pretty good writer and I really had a heart for the news. The J-school slowly sucked it out of me.
Day after day I saw teachers pick their favorites and help guide them. While I chose my favorite teachers, no one chose me. It didn’t matter that I had good grades or put together study groups. No teacher ever took an interest in me and my studies.
That really frustrated me. I began to grow very resentful of the faculty, and even the students that were clearly favored.
I wasn’t alone in my feelings. I remember a discussion one time with a group of my friends. We were very hot one day because a student whose parents had donated money to the new school got introduced to the people from National Geographic. This kid sucks ass as a photographer. He’s not so great as a person either. But the point is. The faculty gave him special treatment because of his parents money.
I guess school really does reflect real life.
Today, I am especially down about school and my degree.
This morning on Montana Today there was a segment on a kid I went to school with. ( A Hotty) He went to Afghanistan this summer and wants to be a foreign correspondent. I am sure he will go far.
That is what I wanted to do. I wanted to travel to Africa and the Middle East and report on wars and genocide. Now I just get to watch other people do it. The sad thing is not that I am not doing that. But that the J-school made me doubt myself. It made me think that dream wasn’t even worth trying for. Because none of the teachers ever saw in me what I could see in myself. I listened to them. I thought if I am not good enough for Professor A or B then I am not good enough to do much. I found myself looking for an easy way out. I found myself interning at the Ravalli Republic instead of trying for the Dow Jones and going to California. I look back and I am sad because I didn’t even try. I went in to that school with high hopes and big dreams and I graduated feeling like I had made a huge mistake. But now, I can see my big mistake wasn’t choosing journalism. My mistake was that I stopped believing in myself and started listening to people that didn’t have a clue about who I was or who I could be.
I don’t want to sound like I am blaming the J-school for me not having the job I thought I would. My life took a different course for a lot of different reasons, and I am happy with what I have.
But, sometimes, when I see other people going where I thought I would, I have to stop and think; I think that when it comes to journalism, I made some mistakes and then just gave up.