“Journalism is a dying profession, so good luck trying to get a job in that field,”- everyone I meet. Being the only freshman print journalism major I know, it is hard not to feel alone. Everyone I meet is either a nursing major, psychology major or a criminal justice major. Where are the journalists? I kept thinking to myself, “Isn’t journalism a fairly common major? Shouldn’t I know someone my age majoring in journalism?” I mean, I figured I would know at least one other freshman, but no. In this area, the odds have not been in my favor.
This is okay with me, though, because it’s giving me the chance to really learn everything I need to know on my own. I’m learning how to deal with almost 200 comments on my last opinion article. Let me quickly brief you on this: I wrote an opinionated article about why I won’t get the HPV vaccine, and Heaven forbid I write an opinion article about that. Anyways, I was blasted for my “trash journalism” and comments suggesting that I should not have been allowed to write about the topic and blah blah blah. On the other hand, there were so many sweet comments that helped alleviate some of the hate.
I started writing for The Student Printz to build my portfolio and to experience journalism that would allow me to express myself, without as many restrictions as I experienced in high school, in its most unattractive form. Now, don’t get me wrong. I adored my high school paper, but in high school you usually can’t write about touchy subjects (the only fault). Now, I understand the reasoning behind the rule. Oh, and by “unattractive,” I don’t mean the salary, but the way in which people react to things. I had never been the cause of any type of controversial Facebook drama before last week, and let me tell you: it can get very intense. I literally spent my entire Thursday watching the comment section grow and grow and grow. I believe there are 196 comments, 9 shares, and 37 “reactions” including “like,” “love,” and “angry” as of 5:18 on Friday, Sept. 29, 2017.
Anyway, I’m also learning how to come up with story ideas that appeal to people enough to make them want to read. The HPV article I wrote may not have been anyone’s favorite article, but it got them reading. Someone else may have loved to see someone writing about my opinion on the vaccine.
I decided to start this freshman series because I thought freshmen want to know that they’re not alone. I’m okay with telling my stories of my current life because someone probably likes knowing that all the stress, loneliness and anxiety they’re feeling is normal. It’s okay to be scared. It’s okay to feel alone. It’s okay to be anxious. It’s okay because in all truth, you’re not alone- it’s freshman year, we’re all just trying to find our niches on the beautiful campus of Southern Miss.