My journey in journalism has been a rollercoaster. As a first generation student, I’m trying my hardest to make my parents proud. This would be easy if I chose to study medicine or law. But I chose a major that would bring me closer to the community and let my creativity thrive.
I debate with myself from time to time between my happiness and my income. I fear graduating college and falling flat, getting stuck in a job that I don’t want, living from paycheck to paycheck, and regretting not choosing a job that would guarantee me money.
Between coursework and my job, I live the day-to-day of a college student trying to get a degree so I can start my life. But every once in a while I have an experience that reminds me why I’m doing this. Next Generation Radio was the most significant experience in my journalism career thus far.
I can summarize the experience with what one of the editors said the first day we all met: “This is what we do as journalists. We share food, drinks and stories!” At Next Generation Radio, I felt like a respected member of a newsroom. I was an actual journalist, not just a college student. I got to apply the concepts I was learning in school. I created my story with my ideas, not the way my professor wanted. I got to express my creativity and add my voice to the piece.
The story I told resonated with me. My subject and I shared the same mindset: our parents expected us to be doctors but we wanted a life in the arts. We are both torn between making our parents happy and living a happy life. I also got the opportunity to shine a light on an important social issue while uplifting a member of the community.
Next Generation Radio also expanded my network. I got to work with journalists in my community as well as others from across the country. I was able to live my dream job of being a multimedia journalist for a week.
My mother loves to joke about how I was destined to be a journalist since the womb because she worked at a news station while she was pregnant with me. I grew up listening to NPR in the car with my dad. So it means the world to me that I can bring home a story that will make my parents proud.