Ever since sixth grade, I’ve known that I wanted to pursue a career in the field of writing. As I enter eleventh grade, some people have no clue what they want to do with their lives, and they tell me that I’m “so lucky that I know.” While I know that they are right, I sometimes question it.
I had a really difficult time picking my courses for this year, because really, other than English, what else was I interested in?! I needed one more math credit, so I took math. I’m interested in Native studies, so I took Native lit, the only other English course offered.
Then, I filled up my schedule with courses that interested me, and that I thought had some relevance to journalism (because really, journalists need to be interested in a variety of things!), such as law, photography, and an anthropology, sociology and psychology course.
We got our schedules yesterday, and since then I’ve heard people reciting their courses like the alphabet. Almost every schedule I hear is “biology, chemistry, physics, math…” , and a lot of my friends who have those courses aren’t sure exactly what they want to do, although taking these courses does open up the doors for a lot of opportunities in the future.
When my friend’s mom saw my schedule, she was confused by the array of courses I was taking, and asked, “What is it that you want to do?!” I told her I wanted to be a journalist, and she still looked kind of confused (but then we got into a conversation about how the food and nutrition course was similar to home ec and we both forgot about it).
Because of these things, I feel as though it is infinitely easier to pursue a career in maths or sciences because the courses are so straightforward. It’s not necessarily a perfectly straight path, but it’s way less twisty-turny than I found mine to be.
I can’t find statistics to back this up, so I guess, really, it’s just my (slightly biased) opinion. And now that I think about it, I guess it’s easier to pursue English related things in the sense that you can build on them outside of school (like writing for a blog!), but for math and science, that would be more complex. It seems to be more difficult to pursue something like writing in both secondary, and post-secondary school education.
Many journalism programs at a University level don’t have a journalism course in the first year. This does allow the student to become better educated and learn more about the world around them, but also takes some of the focus away from what the students true passion is; writing.
The writing pathway definitely seems riskier, too. Even though I know I love writing and have such a passion for it, it scares me to think that I’m cutting myself off from so many opportunities by not taking math or science (despite the fact that I don’t have a strong passion or talent for either of them). What most people don’t realize (and even I sometimes forget) is that there are tons of careers relating to journalism! It’s not just writing for newspapers; it can encompass web writing, writing for tv or radio, writing for politicians, company presidents, or magazines!
I’m sure there are people who think that writing isn’t a “practical” job, and I’m fortunate to have not encountered many of them in my life. I know they’re out there, though. When I tell people that I want to be a writer, I feel the need to prove myself, and explain my choice, as if it’s a dream job and I need to show that I’ve already have moderate success.
I know I shouldn’t have to prove my dream – it is, after all, mine – but I think the fact that I do speaks volumes. Nothing easy is worth doing, and I guess the fact that this isn’t easy just proves its worth more than people think it is. Despite the maze-like path I might have to take to reach my ambitions, I am confident in my ability to get there.