Studying journalism is fun, exciting, and a privilege. From having the opportunity to interview several important people – either on campus or in the community – to being a walking news source (since you know about everything and anything that’s going on), there is never a dull moment as a journalism major. Here are 20 things only a journalism major can understand.
1. Coffee is the major key.
What is life as a journalist without coffee? Coffee is literally part of your diet. You can barely function without at least two or more cups in a day. It is your trusted partner when your body thinks it’s time to take a break, but you have a story due in an hour.
2. You’re all too familiar with dreadful deadlines.
Deadlines are one of the scariest things. As a journalism student, you’re either one of the few who has completed their story before the deadline, or you’re pulling an all nighter just to get your story done in time, while consuming an unimaginable amount of caffeine so you can be alert enough to type faster than human speed. If your story doesn’t get submitted by the deadline, most professors won’t accept your work.
3. You’re used to correcting people’s grammar.
You’ve become very attuned to spotting out grammar and spelling mistakes, that you can instantly notice a comma that’s wrongly placed, or a wrong use of their, they’re, and there in someone’s work. Sometimes, you just can’t resist trying to correct them verbally or mentally.
4. Noticing a typo in your published story.
Even though your grammar and spelling is expected to be flawless, and you’ve had hours and hours of proofreading experience, there are times typos slip into your published work. This can be an aggravating moment, because your error can’t be corrected, especially if it’s a printed story. At that point, you feel the best solution is to hide in a cave for the rest of your life.
5. The AP Stylebook is sacred.
Whenever you write, you always try to honor the spelling, grammar, and general writing specificities of the AP Stylebook in your writing.
6. A notebook is your best friend.
A notebook is with you literally everywhere you go, because your inspiration could come from anyone or anything.
7. Forgetting to record an interview.
The experience of forgetting to turn on your recorder during an interview can be very infuriating. The time spend on scheduling the interview, setting up an appointment, and conducting the interview has all gone to waste. The only option left is to unfortunately redo the entire process.
8. Dealing with interviewees.
You’ve encountered interviewees who have requested that you send interview questions beforehand, in order to avoid answering “invasive” questions because as we know, journalists are aliens who will force you to say what you don’t want to say.
9. Playing the game of tag with your sources.
Sources can be a headache, and you know that all too well. You’ve experienced very difficult sources who refuse to call back or respond to your emails. This leaves you in a tight situation of deciding whether to keep being persistent with your calls, or just call it quits. But you know as journalists, persistence is key.
10. Writer’s block.
Writer’s block is inevitable. The experience of having to write a story when your creative juices are not flowing can be frustrating because you can’t choose not to write the story, especially when you have a deadline coming up. Even when you manage to complete the story, you know you had more to offer.
11. Holidays no longer exist.
What are holidays again? You know the feeling all too well of having to cover a newsworthy story during a national holiday, rather than being at home relaxing with your family and having the pleasure of doing whatever you please.
12. Academic papers?!
Academic papers are the worst things ever to write as a journalism major because you’re used to writing stories that don’t require citations, that when you have to write an academic paper, you feel completely lost.
13. Math is alien.
You chose to write because you can’t stand math and all it’s foreign formulas, so whenever you are faced with a math calculation, your brain automatically shuts down because it hasn’t been programmed to solve mathematical problems. This means you’re always going to be dependent on a calculator, even though the calculation could just be simple mathematics.
14. You are obsessed with social media.
You know the ins and outs of social media, but most especially Twitter. Not a day goes by without you indicating your presence on the Twitterverse.
15. Being disregarded as a student journalist.
You know the experience of people hanging up on you once you mention you’re a student journalist. People don’t take you seriously because they think you’re still too young, and won’t be able to deliver as a “professional” journalist would.
16. You have to desensitize yourself.
There are instances where you either have to cover a sport story with your favorite team playing, or have to interview one of your idols, and although you’re secretly fangirling, you know you have to act professionally. Therefore, you pretend you couldn’t care less about the situation in order to remain completely detached from the story.
17. You know random facts.
From the fire accident that took place on your campus, to the the refugee situation in Europe, you are knowledgeable about any and everything going on.
18. The thrill of seeing your full name on your first published piece.
The ecstatic feeling of seeing your name on your first published piece is amazing. There is no feeling that could add up to knowing that all your efforts paid off.
19. Hearing that “journalism is a dying field. You must not be in it for the money.”
As a journalism major, you’ve heard countless times that there’s no money in journalism. Therefore, people always give you a puzzled look whenever you tell them your major, and they find it difficult to understand why you want to work in a field that won’t even guarantee you a job after graduation.
20. Writing is your life.
Despite the odds of getting a high paying job being pretty low, you still love your major because writing is your passion, and you won’t have it any other way.