Well, it’s finally here! I start my internship with Religion News Service tomorrow! I will admit, I am both excited and nervous.
Yesterday afternoon, Sydney (a fellow WJCer) and I met with our mentor, Annalisa. Annalisa is a WJC alum from past semester. Since graduating from Gardner-Webb in May, she has taken a job and moved back to the D.C. area.
During our time together, Annalisa shared with us what she experienced last semester. She talked about the good things and and the hard things that we would face and shared with us from her experiences last semester.
Our talk with Annalisa combined with Friday’s internship oriented class and pizza talkback session with WJC alums have stressed me out. I’m definitely starting to feel overwhelmed… well, it’s more like I’m feeling overwhelmed because I know I’m going to be overwhelmed in the near future (if that makes any sense whatsoever).
This feeling has led to many nagging questions and feelings of unworthiness in my mind… Why am I even here? I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m going to fall on my face this semester (metaphorically AND literally–have you tried to walk on D.C.’s brick sidewalks in heels?). I’m not prepared for this. I’ve never written a real news story before. What if I get two weeks into my internship and realize I hate it? I’m a slow writer, what if I can’t keep up?
Annalisa had the same internship last semester that I have now. She’s told me that my editors are fantastic. They’re really good at teaching and guiding interns through the ins and outs of journalism.
Another thing that Annalisa talked to Sydney and me about was how even though she went through the program last semester and really enjoyed herself, she really didn’t think that she had been called to be a journalist. Her current job actually involves very little writing. She reminded us that we’re constantly learning, growing and developing and that it’s okay if we don’t know what we want to do now or when we finish WJC or even when we graduate from college.
Annalisa’s transparency on that subject meant a lot to me. As I mentioned earlier, sometimes I don’t even know why I’m here. I’m not a journalist, nor had I ever planned to be. I enjoy writing and maybe I do have a future in journalism, but the thing is that I just don’t know yet. All I do know is that this semester is about discovery.
So, to help me stay focused during this semester, I’ve come up with a list of goals for myself. They may seem silly and I’m sure my list of goals will change over time, but this is what I have for now.
- Have at least one story published in a major newspaper (Washington Post, New York Times, etc.)
- Meet/talk to someone really famous.
- Learn a lot.