This could be my worst decision in life to date. Yet it could be a prelude to some of my finest hours. Journalism — it still sends shudders down my spine. It’s a high responsibility job — on par with a surgeon — and can be so fast paced that your heart will beat faster than your thoughts.
At the heart of it is the love for, and respect of, the written word. Finally after years of naivete I shook myself out of the dream being a novelist, and scampered for a career that had a decent bent on writing. The answer I came up was journalism. The more I thought about it, the more it made sense. I have a modest curiousity for the world, and journalism allows me to explore all echelons of knowledge and philosophy. In a way, it enables me to live a ‘life of learning.’
How I got into Columbia is another story of twists. Firstly I wasn’t even confident of making the cut for the journalism graduate schools I had applied to (Northwestern as well as Columbia). But as things shaped up, I got accepted into both. Initially I leaned heavily onto Norwestern, for personal reasons. Once again practicality, family pressures and treasured advice nudged those plans toward another direction. Slowly Columbia seemed like the right choice since it is, after all, the only Ivy League university with a journalism program.
This is an ongoing experiment, to see if my decision to come to Columbia was the right one. Where I end up, what I end up doing, and who I end up with are all the standards that this decision will be judged on. All I can say is, I have hopes and plans for where I intend to be in May 2009. No guarentees, definitely, but on my part I’m willing to put in the effort.
Columbia is a good school, and in the J-sch, they say it’s the ‘best of the best,’ or so says a renown speaker recently. So far, I’ve been feeling the weight of expectations on me and my performance. Perhaps it’s self-inflicted perfectionism, but all things happen for a reason. As the school’s founded by the venerable Joseph Pulitzer, there’s certainly no shortage of prestige in this building. Every individual is of a seemingly high pedigree, except humble old me of course.
But regardless of these concerns and insecurities, my hope is that my strive for excellence won’t be affected. In essence, I work hard to make those I care about proud of me. To see them smile and happy, that’s sufficient reward. It’s one worth fighting for.