Why I Chose (and stuck with) Journalism
People may wonder what a guy like me from the subtropical island of Bermuda is doing here in the suburbs of northern Westchester studying journalism. Well to be completely honest, I’ve wondered that many times during my college experience myself. Whenever I did, the answer always came to me almost instantly.
Goodness knows that I’m not pursuing journalism because I think that I will make a lot of money or guarantee me steady employment upon graduation. I’m not pursuing it because I thought it would be easy and not a lot of work. I’m pursuing journalism for the reason that I think anyone should pursue something: I really like it, and at this point in my life I cannot imagine myself doing or studying anything else.
When I started at Pace, journalism was my backup major; I actually wanted to be an actor but I didn’t know how competitive the Performing Arts programs were here. I had always enjoyed writing and asking tons of questions ( ask my mom or roommate for proof of my love of questions). With that in mind, journalism seemed like the next best fit for me. Boy was that the right choice!
It’s no secret that people have . . . let’s call them mixed emotions about the 2016 Presidential election (don’t leave yet, I’m going somewhere with this). But for me, it was that night, November 8, 2016, that I realized that journalism was my true calling. It blew my mind how many people, thanks to most of the mainstream media, thought that one candidate was going to win when in reality, the opposite happened. I, and I’m pretty sure a lot of other Americans, had never felt as let down by the media before. It was then that I made a vow to myself to never show any sort of slant, left or right-leaning, when reporting the news. It is more than three years later, and I feel that I have still kept that promise.
Pursuing my passion led me away from the largest city in the country and towards a town of 45,000. You might ask if I miss the hustle-and-bustle and excitement of the city. Sure I do sometimes, but if I stayed there to study, I would not have the drive and passion for journalism that I do now. I know what you must be thinking by now, “Stefano, why do you love journalism so much?” Well, here are some of the things I like the most:
- Every day, I get to write something new. I think that most journalists would agree that one of the joys of journalism is the variety and excitement. One week, I wrote about my experience at the Model United Nations Conference, another week I wrote about the Pace Psychology Club partnering with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), and another week I wrote about the implementation of new transport shuttle services on campus. I don’t think that I would get to write about so many different kinds of things if I were pursuing any other profession.
- I get to come out of my shell and meet some great people. Before pursuing journalism, I was afraid to “get out there” and talk to new people. Even though I’m still kind of afraid, journalism has definitely made me more confident. Throughout my short career as a journalist, I have already spoke to people that I would not have thought about speaking with otherwise, including an up-and-coming Westchester and Rockland politician (who for integrity I’m going to call “Phil”), an owner of a local media company, a Manhattan-based immigration attorney and even the Provost of Pace University. (It might not sound like a big deal, but if you were to tell me as a freshman or even a sophomore that I would have a one-on-one interview with the university’s Provost, I would have definitely thought you were crazy!)
- I get to make a difference in people’s lives. This is the best part for me, that I can make people’s lives just a little bit better by writing something positive, or expose them to something that maybe they weren’t aware of before. I’m not naïve, journalists, especially in this era of Trump and “fake news,”, are not the most liked professionals. But every day, I understand more and more how necessary and respected they are.
Despite all the joy that comes with journalism, I’ll be the first one to say that it isn’t for everyone. If you’re looking for steady and well-paying employment as soon as you graduate, a job with a typical work schedule (Monday thru Friday 9 to 5), or a career where every day is the same routine, forget about journalism; another career and major will be a better fit for you.
But, if you want a career where every day is something new, where you can meet and talk to some pretty influential people, and be a positive and important voice within your community, then I highly recommend you consider pursuing journalism. Maybe you’ll be like me, and surprise yourself with how much you like it and how much you can accomplish in a short time. Happy decision making!