Journalism is the most love/hate job in the world.
You love it when you’re getting to cover breaking news. You love it when you get to make an impact on the community, state, or even country you’re serving. And hell, I love it even when I get to cover two random sports teams I have no interest in and make highlights for it. The rush you get in the newsroom when you get back, trying to make it to that deadline in time, is a rush unlike any other.
But man, journalism is way too stressful, ain’t it?
The countless hours of sleep lost. The numerous little stories that make you scream “Who even cares about this?” And if you get even one small detail wrong, you get ripped apart for it and could cost you your job. It’s one of the few lines of work that requires you to be perfect. How stressful is that?
I’ve always said that you need a thick skin to survive in journalism. If you can’t handle the long hours and mental stresses, then get out. I’ve been fortunate to be in sports journalism now for five years, and while it has been a blast, the mental toll it has taken on me has been hard to handle at times.
In a turn of events, though, I’ve found my thick skin and mental toughness tested the most in the last month or so that I haven’t been doing journalism.
I haven’t told many people this, but I was not accepted in to the Missouri School of Journalism this fall semester due to my GPA. First off, I hate saying that because it makes me feel dumber than I really am. My GPA at the time of applying was a 2.81. The required GPA for the Journalism School is 3.0. Because of this, I was not accepted in directly and was allowed to appeal my way in. I lost that, too, because of my GPA being too low still. After getting two As in summer classes, though, my GPA is at a 2.9, and I will get myself to the 3.0 I need so that way I can get in to the journalism school in the spring.
But during this time, I have had to step away from journalism activities to focus on getting my GPA up and accomplish the one thing I set on doing since I was 16, and that’s graduate with a journalism degree from the University of Missouri. The time away has been an incredible test of my strength that I didn’t really expect would happen.
If you know me, then you know how much I love journalism. There are very few things that get me more excited then covering sports, whether it is at the high school or college level. I have always had a huge passion for journalism, and it has encompassed my life since I was a sophomore in high school.
But now I’m facing the greatest challenge of my young life: proving not only to myself, but everyone else that I can get it done academically. That I can break some of the old habits that have failed me academically in the past and get the GPA that is needed to officially become a journalism student at Mizzou. Because the situation is as clear as day: it’s journalism school or come home. And I definitely do not want to come home anytime soon.
This has not been a fun semester for me so far. The itch to get back at it is really hard to resist. I’ve had to turn down multiple things in the past month because, simply put, I just can’t do it. School has become the top priority for me now for the first time in a long time, and I’m more determined then ever to succeed in my classes.
I’m not going to lie, though: I was angry at a lot of things and a lot of people when I didn’t get accepted in to the journalism school back in June. When you’ve dedicated basically your entire life to something and then are told you can’t do it, it sucks. After a few weeks, though, I realized that this was my problem and that I was the only one who could fix this, and that is what I plan on doing.
Will it be fun? Probably not. But life isn’t always fun and games. Sometimes, you have to put your head down and charge forward and do things that maybe you don’t WANT to do, but that you HAVE to do. That’s where I’m at in my life, and you can sure as hell bet I’m going to do it.
Man, journalism is way too stressful, ain’t it?