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The real reason I quit journalism school

March 31, 2009

Last week, I started enjoying writing–a lot. I would say I have been invigorated and have a new sense of purpose. I wrote for and edited my high school newspaper, and started out at the University of Missouri-Columbia (one of the top journalism schools at the time) as a journalism major. My dream was to become a reporter for Rolling Stone. That was all I ever thought about. I had accolades and awards from high school, and was well on my way to realizing my dreams. Then my dreams came to a screeching halt.

J-school was fiercely competitive at Mizzou.  In the first few months I came to the horrid realization that I don’t like to talk to or interview people I don’t know.  Not only that,  my body seemed to be conveying that reality to me quite forcefully.  The first few assignments where I had to (gulp) interview  people, I  found I had various physical maladies prior to calling or contacting the person.  In a best-case  scenario, I had profusely sweaty armpits, but quite often gastro-intestinal complications would rear their ugly head.  This presented quite the conundrum for my previously enthusiastic self.  Could I/should I continue my whole life in an occupation that my body seemed so violently resistant to?  The answer was no, and I changed my major to the ever practical field of Anthropology, from which I have derived my fortune (kidding).

So last week when I dusted off my long forgotten writing skills (I use the term “skills” loosely)  and found that the posts came quickly and easily I became prematurely cocky.  I marched into Comicon with my newfound confidence and my little note pad  and sense of entitlement.  For a moment (just a moment), I forgot why I changed my major.  I thought I might have made a huge mistake all those years ago. I marched right up to the “Elite Comics” booth and found the first person with a badge on (it was a volunteer).  Then I proceeded to literally almost shit my pants.

Much like I think you see your life flash before your eyes when you lay upon your deathbed, I saw my failed journalism  career flash before my eyes.  The anxiety, the stomach aches, the hand wringing—it all came back in one terrifying rush. I sulked about for the rest of the convention, recognizing this puts up a rather formidable obstacle to my blogging.

However, the beauty of blogging is that technically I don’t have to actually ever physically speak to people.  I am a misanthrope, and that’s the reason I believe I have found this medium.  It’s perfect.  That’s why God created AIM, Twitter and Email. For people like me.

Posted by Shannon



2 Responses to “ The real reason I quit journalism school ”

  1. jane on April 1, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    many are the woes of the maroon-faced girlz.

  2. Jennifer on April 16, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    There are still occasional days when I think I want to be a journalist. But I know better. What I really want to be is a writer, and the people I make up myself are far more tolerable than the ones I had to interview.