In my social life, I like to gloss over the fact that I'm a journalism student because it nearly always illicits the same response:
"Oh, that's sooooo funny! I was actually going to go into journalism, too! I got really good marks in my high school English classes. I even wrote a poem that was published in my yearbook."
That's special, really. Thanks for sharing about something you almost did, but then didn't do. That's like me telling a med student that I "almost became a doctor because I was really good at dissecting frogs in biology class!"*
It's not that easy.
Imagine you’ve been spent 20 years of your life walking the correct way, when someone comes up to you and says, “You know something? You’re doing an excellent job of walking upright, and I think you have potential, but you should actually be walking backwards.” So, you start walking backwards, but you suck miserably at it. And then you start thinking that maybe you shouldn’t have even started walking upright in the first place. You’d much rather prefer to just start crawling again. But after trying and failing many times, you finally succeed in learning how to walk backwards. You’re feeling brilliant, since your walking skills are clearly superior to everyone else who is walking forwards. You’re feeling on top of the world!
That is, until that same person comes up to you and says, “Okay, good job on walking backwards. But what I actually didn’t tell you is that now you should also be walking on your hands. Through pits of fire. While carrying a full jug of leeches using only your big toe. Think you can handle that? Good. Because once you’re done, I’ll be grading you.
Oh, and did I mention you owe me $5000?”
This is what journalism school is like. And this is what learning to write again is like.
(Fun fact: I would estimate that out of the 150 people who were originally accepted into my program 2 and 1/2 years ago, only about 110 remain. The whole process is kind of soul-crushing.)
And now, here's a blurry picture of my cleavage as compensation for reading that terrible metaphor:
*Which I was, by the way. You should have seen me handle a scalpel. Pro, all the way. Dissecting the fetal pig was my favourite activity. I wasn't a big fan of the cow's eyeball, though.