Anonymous asked: Hello Future Journalism Project,
I'm not sure if you'll ask a question from a pesky college student looking for answers on choosing the right decision for the future. I am an aspiring journalist, worked on my high school newspaper as editor-in-chief for two years, and had fierce competition from my junior editor-in-chief my senior year. I went to a B-rated college. It's not as great as many may consider. My junior EIC got into Uc Berekely. Sh's a year younger than me - but I feel my passion is still emerging. Does it matter what college I go to? Will she have better, bigger oppurtunities than me??

p.s. Sorry for the illiterate typing. I can't see what I'm writing bneccause your ask box is too small for my question!

Have you ever read Cary Tennis? He’s the advice columnist for Salon and the reason I ask is because reading your question reminds me of him. It reminds me of him because he has the astute ability to read between the lines of life’s quandaries.

I don’t pretend to be as astute as Cary but I am going to read between your lines.

And here’s what I find: you feel burned.

You’re not only an aspiring journalist but took it seriously enough to not only work for your high school newspaper but become its Editor in Chief. You worked hard, you stayed up late, you stressed out but you did it. And then along comes another who’s a year younger but hungry just like you and the two of you butt heads over story ideas and angles and assignments and comma placement and heds and deks and everything else that goes into creating a newspaper.

And this pissed you off.

And it still pisses you off because you ended up at what you call a second rate school while she’s sitting high and mighty at one of the best colleges in the land.

Here’s what you need to do: let it go.

Will it matter that you went to a “B-rated college”? Not really. You’ll find that once you’re a few years out of college no one really cares which one you went to, or if you even went at all. What they care about is what you can actually do.

So don’t be bitter and don’t be pissed. These battles are well done gone and it’s time to move on.

And here’s what you should do: Join your college paper or — perhaps even better — find like minded collaborators and create something of your own. Then report the hell out of your subject.

Be tenacious. Write short form. Write long form. Take some multimedia classes and create in that form too.

And learn a bit of code. I can’t tell you how valuable it is to know a bit of code.

Build a body of work for yourself so that when you leave college you’re defined by the awesome that you created in college.

And then hustle. And then network. And start making yourself known to people and organizations that you think you’d like to work with some day.

Do all that and opportunities will come, regardless where you went or what’s printed on your diploma. — Michael

  1. futurejournalismproject posted this