My father still thinks I’m going to law school.
That was the plan since my sophomore year of high school when I said, “Dad, I want to major in journalism,” and he replied, “Sure, sweetie, as long as you go to law school afterwards. Journalists don’t make money.”
In my 15-year-old naivety, I didn’t question his judgment. I knew, or was told rather, that newspapers were “dying” and journalism was becoming an “obsolete” profession.
Fast-forward three years to my first day at UF. My first journalism class was Introduction to Journalism. There were all these hip girls with glasses and cool guys with messenger bags. We talked about the scoop and the inverted pyramid and Rick Bragg.
I was a scared little freshman, unsure of what to do on a Friday night, of what to wear to a club meeting, of what to eat at the dining hall. But after that first day of Intro to Journalism, I was sure that I wasn’t going to law school. I was sure that I would spend my life as a journalist.
By the second semester of my freshman year, I was contributing to the Independent Florida Alligator. My first story was a 5-incher about a sustainability campaign kick-off. I woke up at 6 a.m. to run down to the press box on the bottom floor of my dorm at the time to see my story, my byline.
Eight months and 36 bylines later, I was hired at the Alligator at the end of October. By the end of the semester, I scored an A in Reporting and landed an internship with the Orlando Sentinel’s Lake County Bureau for this summer.
Because of classes and my reporting experience thus far, I love journalism and have learned that it's a thriving profession. I probably will never tell my dad that I’m not going to law school, but he’ll figure it out. And I think he’ll be okay with it because I might be living in a one-room apartment and eating Velveeta macaroni every night.
But I’ll be happy.