In 2012, I graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism & Media Studies. For five years, I studied basic reporting, interviewing, radio broadcasting, TV production, etc. and I had decided to focus on writing in the form of print media. Before I had gotten to college, I decided I wanted to be a writer, so journalism allowed me to discover a different form of writing. After graduation though, I realized just how difficult it was to find a job. Most of the people in the program with me were also at a standstill in finding jobs. This left us to taking on internships, contributing for websites, freelancing or just going back to school. I was in the “go back to school” boat. My grace period was slowly coming to an end on student loans and I needed a backup plan and quick. So I started thinking about all of the “in demand” fields that I would qualify for. Business was certainly out of the question. I am the worst when it comes to numbers and clearly my own finances. Medicine was not an option and neither was law or technology, so my safest and most logical choice was education.
So I put in an additional year and a half in of schooling to get my Masters of Education. I loved school. I am an eternal scholar, so doing the coursework and writing the papers wasn’t a problem. I had convinced myself that I loved the curriculum and lesson planning aspect of education, but when I went out for TEACH Charlotte and got accepted I soon realized that I didn’t like teaching. I didn’t want to deal with children in that type of capacity. So I was hired to be a teen program coordinator for The Boys and Girls Club in Newark. I left Trenton and moved up to Newark for work. After working in that field for two and a half years it really lost its luster. So many things started to transpire in the media field that rekindled my interest. I wrote a book, I got hired as a freelancer for Madame Noire, and an Arts and Culture Writer for Saint Heron. I also launched my own blog that’s starting to increase in traffic. By the time I had updated and created my portfolio with all of my samples, I asked myself “why in the hell are you not working in the field full-time?!” It was to the point where I would rather be at home writing and working on blog post and articles than at work. Sometimes when I had downtime I would actually be at my job doing media stuff. It got to a point where I was so creatively miserable at work and juggling between deadlines and a room full of kids that I knew I had a choice to make. I had to choose my own happiness. In a moment of impulse, I walked out of work and called my mom. “I said mom, I’m quitting my job to pursue writing full-time and I’m moving back home.” She had a million questions about health insurance, paying bills, and how I was going to survive. I didn’t know and I still don’t, but I just know that being unhappy is no longer an option.
I do believe that when you make drastic decisions for the better, it opens up so many doors to good opportunities. I think working in youth development was a cushion. It was a safety net and even though I thought I was being fearless, I was still looking for a safe situation. Reality set in and I’ve been interviewing for several different full-time positions and my email has been buzzing with opportunities so I can say that I am genuinely fearless this time. I have Madame Noire, Saint Heron and I am also using this time to finish my second novel. It’s a long and slow process, but I am hopeful. I’m 25 going on 26 and I’m sure my 30-year-old self will thank me for this later.
What types of risk have you taken lately?