Tonight was my last graduate school class! Let’s take a minute to pause and reflect on that statement.
After a year of stress, lack of sleep, overeating, and minimal exercise, I’m finished.
At some point in the middle of unemployment during a recession when my fellow gen yers were moving back in with mom and dad or working at Starbucks while sending out well over 100 applications (I think I got to 70), I made the decision to go to graduate school.
People gave me strange looks at first, especially my co-workers at Newsweek. Why would I go back to school for journalism? Journalism is dead. Duh.
Here’s my reasoning. I want to work at university. (Any universities out there want to hire me?) Also, I wasn’t really getting anywhere with the job hunt here. American University had a good program focused on practical skills and training. I needed more web development. I needed more networking, internships, experience. So I came back to school.
Although, a lot about the program was not what I expected, I’m glad I made the choice.
First, I got what I wanted — a job.
I also learned a lot. I didn’t learn how to design websites or use Flash. But you can’t really get everything in one year. I think I bettered my writing, multimedia skills, and interviewing abilities.
I’m pretty shy in certain situations. I did not particularly want to be a reporter. But this year, I was able to overcome that and get some great interviews. I wrote about Virginia wine, politics, ghosts in the city, and food. (Among other things). I made an online package, live-blogged an event, and worked on a project mentioned in the NYT.
I even went out on a street corner and just found a story. And I got to cover the Hill, conferences, and oh, right, the White House.
I learned how to make better videos.
While much of the year was stressful and I was loaded down with working part-time for my fellowship, taking classes full-time and planning my wedding, I also had a lot of fun.
We went to Baltimore to cover the 150th Civil War Anniversary at Fort McHenry.
I followed food trucks.
Plus, I made a lot of friends. Really great friends. We ate a lot of Mexican food.
Sang some karaoke.
Oh, right and got graduate degrees!
Overall, I suppose, school was a plus. I’m happy to be done. Maybe I’ll have more time now to blog more meaningfully. Or maybe I’ll finish Lost and get a tan. And work of course.