The Future Freaks Me Out

Monday’s lecture was fairly untraditional. Lasting 90 minutes instead of the usual 50, representatives from each of the six journalism departments (broadcast, convergence, magazine, photojournalism, print and digital and strategic communications) came to speak about their respective programs.

Seeing these presentations made me more unsure about what I want to do because the areas all look interesting (a definite journalism problem). From a practical standpoint, I don’t think I quite have the eye to be a professional photojournalist or videographer, eliminating three of the six.

I had to leave for work before the print and digital presentation, but I was able to see the strategic communications and magazine presentations. Seeing the advertisements in the strategic communications video made me remember how much I love advertisements — so much so that I spend almost as much time looking at print ones in Vogue as I spend reading the articles. The work I’ve been doing for Relay For Life’s Public Relations Committee has also made me remember how much I love planning events, reaching out to people via social media and creating campaigns to persuade people to participate (I did a lot of this in high school), so I’ve been considering trying out strategic communications.

Jen Rowe’s magazine presentation was also excellent. She was my Walter Williams mentor last year, so I’ve met with her several times and would love to take her Magazine Editing class. The work she showed from Vox, as well as the list of where graduates have worked, almost made me consider walking across the street to Gannett Hall and requesting an emphasis change. Almost.

I chose News Editing as a sequence because I want to be on the editorial/managerial side of journalism, and I think it will offer me a lot of options because I will have to master writing, copy editing and design before I graduate. In terms of a career, however, I’m still undecided. I’ve done an abundance of copy editing in the past few years, and though I do enjoy it, I don’t think I want to copy edit for life. I’m also not positive if I want to stay in the newspaper industry — I enjoy magazine design and writing a lot, too. I’m not positive if I want to stay in publications, either, as I enjoy the community outreach and social aspect a job in a field such as public relations would provide. And I’ve recently come to the conclusion that, after being a journalist for a while, I want to eventually teach, preferably as a journalism adviser.

So, because of this general confusion about my future, I’m having difficulty deciding what types of internships I want to apply for this summer. I’m applying for several copy editing internships, of course. I’m applying for a publishing internship at a magazine. I’m applying for a few social media positions at newspapers and magazines. I’m even applying to be an RA at a summer program that means a lot to me, just in case I decide not to take an internship. (If I stay to get a master’s, three summers of internships + a semester of an internship abroad + working at the Missourian when I’m in Columbia = a whole lot of journalism on top of a whole lot of schoolwork. You’re only in college once, right?).

I know deciding what type of internship I’d like won’t define the rest of my life. However, at this moment, it feels as if it will. I’m trying not to worry about it by applying to everything and seeing how it all turns out. If anything’s not meant to be, it’s not meant to be.

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