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Confessions of a journalism student

by Zachary Cook April 3, 2018 0 comment
Confessions of a journalism student

When will the looming doubts go away?

As an undergraduate student, I often find myself second-guessing the program I chose. Before starting university, a journalism degree seemed to be the route I was destined to take; I have always loved writing, photography and film—it seemed like the perfect fit.

I grew up in Grand Falls-Windsor, a small quaint town in Newfoundland. I was excited to move to the trendy city of Montreal and begin my studies. After the first week, I was immediately overcome with doubts about my decision to enter the program. I felt uneasy about my career as a journalist.

I thought I was overreacting, and I told myself I couldn’t judge the program based on one week. Nonetheless, I called my sisters in a panic, both of whom are in the last year of their arts and science degrees, and asked if they felt the same way when they started their programs. Both my sisters assured me that nobody loves every aspect of their program, and that it’s normal to have conflicting thoughts. Many students experience this.

As the semester progressed, my looming doubts didn’t go away. I feared I had made the wrong choice. I realized I couldn’t envision myself working as a reporter—I questioned what career I would pursue after my degree.

The program focuses on teaching traditional journalistic practices. I am confident I will have the practical skills necessary to work for a mainstream media outlet once I finish my degree. However, I did not expect and continue to be disappointed by the lack of emphasis on unconventional career paths in alternative media.

Over the past two semesters, I have considered switching programs many times. I never went through with this decision because I’m afraid I will immediately regret it. Realistically, I will have “problems” with whatever program I’m in—every university student does. As I am only in my first year, I still have a lot to learn and will ride the university wave in the journalism program until I eventually figure out what I’m doing.

Graphic by Zeze Le Lin

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