Journalism often feels thankless. It is a job where you feel like you are running as fast as you possibly can 100% of the time. You never feel like you can make it on time. You spend countless nights in the newsroom until 3 a.m. Almost all of your time is spent thinking you produce sub-par work. Most of the feedback you receive is negative (some is constructive, but most is people just being upset). It’s a job many would be considered mental to pursue. For student journalists, we also have the typical stresses of college life to add on top of all this.
Near the end of March, The DrumBeat won a total of 42 awards (more than several notable universities) at the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association. TJC’s journalism staff typically wins copious awards at this annual conference, often ousting universities. Although it sounds like we are stroking our own ego, this conference is actually an event of relief for us. It’s a much-needed break from the stressful life of a journalist. It’s proof that, while we’re our own worst critics, someone else is seeing the fruit of our labor. Someone else sees what we produce and believes that it deserves recognition.
This, ultimately, is a revelation everyone needs to have in their own lives. While journalism is a tiring career, we still acknowledge that everyone has a fair share of stress in their own respective paths. We all have deadlines. We all have bosses who demand more. We all have set goals that feel impossible to achieve. Many of us don’t feel adequate.
But, like the judges at TIPA, there is always someone who appreciates the hard work we all put into our goals. It may not be apparent to the laborer, but there’s almost always a person of power who silently observes effort. That, in essence, is the goal of college. Our time here gives us a taste of what the real world entails. Receiving this criticism while putting everything into what we value allows us to experience what awaits us in the professional world. If someone gives you harsh criticism you don’t deserve, or simply aims to tear you away from what you’re passionate about, don’t get discouraged. In fact, never get discouraged. This is your life. This is what makes you proud. While being recognized for your effort is great, your greatness doesn’t depend on someone else’s critique.