Real talk

I don’t want to be a journalist.

There, I said it. It’s not really something you’re allowed to say three weeks into the first year of journalism school, but I’ve always tried to be honest here, so I’m saying it.

The truth is, I felt it after the first journalism lecture, on the first day of classes, but I pushed that feeling away. I thought maybe it was just first week jitters, or perhaps I was just overwhelmed by the whole university experience. Actually, you know what? That’s not true either. I knew it wasn’t jitters. I just wanted that to be the problem. The idea that I’ve put so much effort and money and time into getting into a program that I immediately realized is wrong for me scared me too much to face it at first. It wasn’t just fear either, it was also embarrassment. There I was going around for the last six months telling everyone I was going to be a journalist, and now I’ll have to tell them all that it was a big mistake. I’ll have to tell my dad that I’m wasting his money being here, and my scholarship money too. I’ll have to tell my friends who all know what they want, that I actually have no idea where I’m going.

It’s terrifying also. Terrifying, because I don’t know what to do now. Like, at all. It’s too late to switch programs and even if I could switch, I have no idea to what program I’d switch. I’ve spent the last six years assuming (consciously or subconsciously) that I would become a journalist when I grew up. I mean, in career planning class I pretended to consider other options, but truthfully, I was always planning on journalism. I mean, it’s not like I had my whole life planned out, but I had a direction, and that felt good.  I felt bad for all of the poor souls who still hadn’t figured out what they wanted. I loved it when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up because I had an answer.

I really did think I knew what I was getting myself into. I knew that journalism is a difficult profession. The hours are long, the jobs are scarce and low-paying, and the deadlines are murder. Furthermore, no one knows what journalism is even going to look like in four years, or one, even. I was okay with that though. I felt like it was a field that was so right for me that I couldn’t go wrong, after all, I love to write and I love talking to people. That’s all you really need, isn’t it?

It took one Journ 1000 class to realize that I had it all wrong. I know that you’ve waited this whole long, ramble-y post for me to explain exactly why it is that I felt this way suddenly, but the truth is that I really couldn’t tell you. The best way that I can explain it is that I listened to descriptions of possible careers we could have-as foreign correspondents, news anchors, radio hosts, parliamentary reporters-and I couldn’t picture myself doing any of them. More than that, I didn’t want to picture myself doing any of them. All of the professor’s descriptions of a journalist were of this determined, dogged reporter chasing down leads and knocking on doors and calling everyone in the phonebook until she got answers. That, I realized, isn’t me at all.

So what do I want, exactly? What can I picture myself doing? I only have vague shadows of ideas at this point. I wish I had more. It scares me that I don’t, but the honest truth is that I’m not even close to knowing what I want.

I want to be writing still; I’m sure of that. Writing important things, things that really matter. Things that will change peoples’ minds and make them listen, make them understand. I still like talking to people too. I recently joined the debate team, and I love it. Public speaking, I realized, gives me a bit of a rush actually. The other thing is that I still care about news. I flip through all of the news apps on my phone like four times a day and I’m constantly texting Mat about the debate over Syria and the elections in Australia and Kenyan leaders being tried for war crimes. I think that someday I’d like to be in a position where I could do more than just report on those things. I would like to be in a position where I could make real changes in foreign policy and diplomatic relations.

And now that I go back and read that paragraph it really just looks like I want to go into politics. Do I? I’m not sure. I wish that I had a dream…

For now, I guess I’m going to journalism class. I’m sure I’ll learn some useful stuff there, regardless on what I choose to do. I’ve got a year to figure my shit out. Hopefully that will be enough. Hopefully God really does have a plan for me.

Otherwise, I’m screwed.

 

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Things I wish I could tell my high school self

1) Nobody thinks you’re stupid for asking questions. You look even stupider if you don’t. Especially in grade 10 math, when you don’t know how to do trig and everyone else does. It’s not your fault that your junior high didn’t teach it. Just get your teacher to help you get caught up, it’ll honestly take like ten minutes.

2) Nerd out. Seriously, don’t ever worry about “looking like a nerd.” You are a nerd, embrace it. To be honest, you were never hiding it very well anyway. Also, you’ll end up meeting a ton of nerdy friends who will love you for your love of Shakespeare and physics jokes and Doctor Who, so don’t even stress about it.

3) You’re all in the same boat. You are not the only high school student with tough stuff going on at home, or the only one unsure about their future. You’re certainly not the only one feeling lonely. Just get some balls and talk to people instead of sitting by yourself and pretending to look at something interesting on your phone. They’re probably hoping someone will come introduce themselves because they’re too shy to do it. Most of the friends I made in Grade 11 I wish I had gotten to know in Grade 10. We could have had a lot more time together and they probably would have helped me get through some of the tough times, like my mom’s death.

4) Your alcohol tolerance is not as high as you think it is. So for the love of god do not try to keep pace with Nob and and Jo at that one party. You will take too many shots and you and Nob will both puke and Jo will have to carry you to the car because Jo is a tank and vodka is like water to him. Puke is hard to wash out of your hair btw.

5) Don’t pigeon-hole yourself. Okay, yes, you’re good at soccer and writing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try other things. Maybe I would have also like martial arts, or debate club. I guess I was eager to stick to what I knew because I was confident in that. I wish I could tell my Grade 10 self that it’s okay to be a beginner at things. No one expects you to be an expert right away. And more than that, you don’t have to do things just because you’re good at them. It’s okay to do something you suck at if you’re enjoying yourself.

6) You don’t have to plan your whole future out when you apply for university. I mean, you can, but it’s kind of a waste of your time, because it’s going to change right away anyway, because a) university is different than anything you could have ever imagined, and b) You will change and so will your goals. In January, I was 100% sure I wanted to be a journalist when I grew up. Now here I am with two university journalism classes under my belt, realizing that I’m pretty sure that’s not what I want to do with my life. My favourite class so far is philosophy; I did not expect that. All I’ve figured out is that I have absolutely nothing figured out. I used to have my whole life planned out, and now I don’t even know what I’m going to do a year from now.

Frosh Day 2, aka I want bacon

I am not functioning on enough sleep to actually make this post coherent, but I’m going to try anyway because I’m all pumped up on froshness and also yolo.

Notes to survive the rest of frosh week:

-Eat breakfast!! I missed it this morning because I slept in and had to go straight to frosh activities by the time I rolled out of bed. I definitely regretted that all day. I spent most of the morning daydreaming about french toast and bacon and maybe some nice yogurt and granola and orange juice. Mmmm…oh man, now I want breakfast right now, at 2am.

-On another food related note, I need to start storing snack food in my room. Supper at 6 is not enough to carry me through evening activities that go on through half the night. Tonight was a hypnotist show followed by speed friending and another dance and now I am starved. I wish I had some cereal in my room or something to eat while I write this. Or bacon. There really is no bad time for bacon.

-Avoid the creepy guy who has been trying to get me to go out with him all day. Like seriously man, if I said no the first time, what makes you think I’m going to change my mind the next six times you ask? Especially when you beg like a child in the ice cream aisle. Begging is never attractive.

-GO TO BED ON TIME! lol jk there’s no way I’m going to sleep before 3am this week

Do you guys have any other good frosh tips?

Shut up I can’t whistle, okay?

Some people have nominated me for blog awards, but as I’ve mentioned before, I suck at them and I always cheat. So thanks to Kat, Henry, and Catching Zee for the awards. Check  out their blogs if you get a chance.

Now for the cheating. They all gave me questions to answer, but I’m just going to pick my favourites, mkay? No? Oh well, too bad.

  1. Favorite late-night snack? Cereal. I’m not proud of how often I sit in bed with my laptop and a bowl of Just Right.
  2. What is your favorite scent? The smell of soccer-freshcut grass, bug spray, and a little bit of sweat
  3. Can you whistle? NO! Dammit thanks for bring up a sore spot. The fact that I can’t whistle is one of the great tragedies of my life.
  4. What book are you reading right now?  And what book would you love to tackle? I’m reading On the Front Line, which is the collected journalism of this incredible reporter, Marie Colvin. Not only does she have some amazing stories from a bunch of foreign countries, but her writing is absolutely breathtaking. I’m not really saying I want to follow her career arc, because she died in a bombing covering the uprisings in Syria last year. However, if I could write even half as well as her my life would be complete. Yeah, I’m a journalism nerd; what else is new. I’ve actually also been meaning to read Mein Kampf as weird as that sounds.  Like obviously Hitler was horrible, but I think that’s why it would be so fascinating to get inside his head.
  5. Do you think we need to do away with capitalism altogether or do you see an alternative or do you prefer to pretty much leave things as they are? Wow! Uh I think capitalism is the best way for developing countries to get out of poverty. However, I also think we should be able to do it in a way that protects human rights. The free market can be a really good thing for everyone if we put in a few rules to protect the people in it.
  6. Do you have a tattoo or would you consider getting one? Or is there something badass you’ve done that you’d like to share? It’s not really badass, but I just got my fifth ear piercing, kind of as a going-away-to-university present to myself. I have my earlobes done, plus two studs on my upper right ear, and now a hoop midway up my left one. I probably wouldn’t get a tattoo though. It would look good now, but I’ve seen enough old people with saggy tattoos to know that I don’t want that to be me in forty years.
  7. Your gut reaction: Which title do you prefer, “A Night at the Sorrento and Other Stories” or “Alice in New York and Other Stories”? And why? A Night at the Sorrento sounds more mysterious and interesting.
  8. Are you an early bird or night owl? Both. I put that on my residence application for uni and I think that’s why they gave me a single actually. My roommate’s life would be hell because I don’t really sleep.
  9. What’s something you learned recently? “We’re not afraid of failure, we’re afraid of greatness.” It was in a graduation speech and it really hit me hard for some reason. More on that later.
  10. If you could live in another decade, when would it be? The roaring 20s for sure! Gatsby made it look like so much fun.

Now I’m supposed to nominate more people I guess. Again, I suck at this because I don’t read as many blogs as I ought to, but here are a couple teenage blogs that I absolutely adore:

Especially Average-Jess is way cooler than I was when I was 15

Teenage Enthusiasm-Morgan is so real, but she’s also so positive and fun!

The Thought Orchard-An absolutely incredible 11-year-old who is possibly too smart for her own good 🙂

How to procrastinate

-Say you’ll do it after you finish season three of Game of Thrones

-And catch up on all the stuff backed up on your pvr (I’m looking at you, Pretty Little Liars, and summer repeats of Girls)

-Take your cat for a walk. He looks bored. I mean, cats always look bored, but still…

-Before you get to work you should probably eat, so time to make an elaborate and time consuming lunch. I’m thinking tomato basil bruschetta with melted mozzarella on crackers, and nice little salad on the side…maybe a smoothie too…

-Read self help books like Arlene Dickinson’s Persuasion, about how to build your career…while you know, avoiding doing work for said career

-Stare at grad photos on Facebook from two months ago and wonder how your white grad dress still makes you look pale. Like blue, veiny pale.

-Consider going to the beach right away to get a tan

-Realize that it’s like 15 degrees out and cloudy

-Decide to write a blog post because that seems easier than the article you’re supposed to be writing

-Wonder if you’re really cut out for journalism school if you can’t even motivate yourself to write one article

-Decide to stop torturing yourself and watch more Game of Thrones instead

I need to have a jealous bitch moment here

Standard angst warning on this post: there is an abnormally high amount of angst in this post. Read at your own risk. Kay and Have You Seen My Glass Slipper? are in no way liable for any psychological damage incurred from extended exposure to this level of angst.

I wish that Mat wasn’t so damn nice, because that would make him a hell of a lot easier to hate. School awards day was today, and Mat swept all the categories: student of the year, school spirit, and journalism distinction, top journalism mark. All of the categories that I should have had locked down. Well, maybe not school spirit.

And yes, they’re high school awards, and in five years or even a couple weeks, no one will care who got them. Really, I get how trivial this complaint is, and I get that I seem like a jealous bitch as well as a compulsive over-achiever, it’s just that I am so SICK of living in Mat’s shadow. I’ve done so much work for the school in the last three years as editor of the yearbook, editor of the school paper, and captain of the soccer team. I’ve mentored a lot of younger students in the journalism program, I’ve done a lot of work advertising for the global aid club and I started a school Twitter account to keep students updated on school events. I really CARE about this school and I thought that people would have noticed that by now, but all they see is Mat. Mat, who is my co-editor in yearbook and the paper. Mat, who is so visible taking photos at events while I only write the copy and work on the layouts of the yearbook. Mat, who is in full French Immersion and full AP to my single AP course.

I do just as much work on the yearbook as he does, but if the principals need to talk to someone about what’s going on with it, they always find him to talk to, even when I’m sitting right next to him in class when they come to get him. Even the yearbook advisor, who knows me, and supposedly knows what I’m capable of, always looks to him for direction.

And those journalism awards piss me off even more because Mat doesn’t even want to be a journalist! He doesn’t even like writing. He’s into photography and he wants to be an economist. I’m the one who is in love with writing. I’m the one who gets paid to write for a magazine. I’m the one who got her publisher to come in to school and speak to our journalism class. Me.

I’m just so angry at him and I know that I’m not being at all fair because he is so kind and selfless and he always includes me and sticks up for me and makes sure that teachers and administrators notice my contributions. He has put up with my frustrated rages when we’re struggling to piece together layouts, the days I ignore him in class while I’m struggling through writers’ block, and all of my sarcasm that isn’t always as funny as I think it is. He is such a good friend and I don’t deserve him.

Besides, I didn’t exactly get ignored at the awards. I was given a $750 scholarship for my trouble, from some donor outside the school to be used for miscellaneous purposes. I should feel grateful because I could really use the tuition money, but it kind of felt as if I was being paid off because they knew they were excluding me from the other awards.

Man, I’m an idiot. I needed to get this off my chest, though. Here it is, the worst of my inner ugliness. If this sort of rant isn’t what an anonymous blog is good for, I don’t know what is.

Hello.

Sooo…guess who’s baaaaacckkk?!

And man, do I have some good stories saved up. There are some good posts coming up my friends.

But first of all, I’d just like to say thank you from sticking by me through all of my senior year madness. After going two months without posting I kind of assumed everyone would have forgotten about me. When I logged back on to WordPress for the first time today, the back up of comments and likes almost made me fall off my chair. Okay, I did fall off my chair, but that might have just been some awkward teenage clumsiness.

You guys are so sweet and thoughtful and caring. There were all these notes asking how I was doing and when was I coming back, and according to my stats you were checking up on me regularly. I thought I would lose followers, but I actually gained them, which is amazing. So hello also to new readers!

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again and again and again: the blog world is an amazing place and I feel so lucky to be apart of it.

Now, down to business. Things about me right now:

1) I am one day away from being finished my semester from hell. My last exam (physics ughhhhhhh kill me) is tomorrow and then I am free. HOORAAAY!!! So expect some fun posts this week as I will be off school and bored most likely.

2) I just submitted my first article to that magazine I work for. Remember that? It’s so exciting. I can’t believe I’m actually being paid to write things. In another month or so my writing is going to be in print!

3) After this week I’m taking another hiatus. So soon Kay? What is with you?

But I have a good reason, I swear! On Sunday I’m leaving for Kenya for three weeks!!!

I’ve been getting ready for this trip for a few months but with all the madness I haven’t gotten a chance to mention it before now. A woman at my church runs a non-profit in Kenya that includes, among other programs, a school in a slum in Nairobi. They recently moved into a building which badly needs some major renovation, so our church put together a team to send to work for a few weeks.

I’m both the youngest and probably the least qualified on the team, but what I lack in experience I think I make up for in enthusiasm. I am so unbelievably excited. The moment I heard about the opportunity I jumped on it and I pretty much haven’t stopped babbling about it to everyone I know ever since. The best part about this project is that it’s not just about building walls, it’s about building relationships in the community. I love this organization because they don’t believe in just coming in and handing out money and then leaving. They’re in it for the long haul and they want to help the community help themselves. The organization also includes a scholarship program which means that once kids graduate from the school they have a chance to pursue post secondary studies. We’re staying in an apartment with a bunch of those students while we’re there which is going to be really cool.

Oh man, I could just go on and on forever about this trip.

So anyway, that is me right now. Bear with me as I attempt to catch up on what’s going on with everyone in the next few days. Man, I missed this.