I’m a journalism student.
For anyone who doesn’t know it, that means I spend all my time looking at things and seeing frames.
I don’t look at people and see potential friends, I see potential sources. Only when they’ve proved they would be useless sources do I consider friendships.
I listen to a song and try to figure how long it was.
It means people expect me to know the news as it happens. I rarely do.
I go out when there is a tornado warning to find out that the story I was going to has fallen apart. I sit on the floor frantically sending emails and making calls.
I spend most of my time in a freezing cold room staring at a screen.
I heat frozen food for dinner, if I have dinner at all.
Food is for survival not pleasure.
I sleep only because I must.
I think taking two trains and a ferry to meet a source for a six minute interview is totally legit.
When it rains I worry more about my equipment getting wet than myself.
I walk around streets and stop random people to ask questions.
I get told off for being creepy and taking pictures.
And I’m not the only one.
If you hear talk of beats and deadlines. Of the demographics of Harlem and Chelsea. Of the inaccessibility of sources. You’re probably around a JSchooler.
If you hear plans to drink so there is a semblance of socializing. If you see blurry-eyed students on 115th Street at 3a.m. on a weekday, they are more likely JSchoolers than party animals (Though the two are certainly not exclusive).
You can tell the difference between JSchoolers and the rest of Columbia University because we are walking out of school at 8a.m. when most people are walking in.
Brad’s Cafe is our turf. Other people coming in just annoys.
It’s normal to be on Facebook at 3a.m. Very normal.
Long days are the norm. Short days are surprise gifts.
Weekends are imaginary. So I never have Monday morning blues.
The work is incredible. The satisfaction is immense. I enjoy school. I love the city I live in and I think my colleagues are incredible. I wake up every morning with excitement that a new day with all its disappointments has begun. I go to bed with the sadness that one more day at JSchool has passed.