Journalists don’t make a lot of money. I knew when I signed up as a journalism major that I probably won’t be seeing any six-figure salaries in the near future. That’s just fine with me because doing what I love means more than financial success, and as long as I can eat and have a roof over my head, I’ll be happy.
However, I sometimes feel I’m perceived as slacking in my career path just because I don’t spend several hours a day in a laboratory. People don’t seem to realize that just because I choose to work creatively doesn’t mean that I’m not working constructively.
I don’t want to downplay the importance of hard sciences. The world needs doctors, physicians, mathematicians and nurses, but that doesn’t mean that science majors are any smarter or more hard-working than any other field.
When biology majors are staying up late finishing lab reports, I’m having the same late night in the Mirror office, putting together this fine publication and working equally hard. I’m guessing I could find plenty of similarities between dissecting a frog and editing a sentence for style and grammar. We all work hard; we just work in different ways.
I’m not saying the science department shouldn’t take pride in its work, but other departments should have just as much right to brag about the success of their students.
For example, all four winners of the Sophomore Honors Award in 2012 were biology or biochemistry majors. This sends the message that Augustana takes the greatest pride in the science department, but doesn’t Augustana boast to be a liberal arts school emphasizing diversity?
If in our liberal arts education we aren’t learning the value of different talents working in different ways, then our college has failed us.
The hours that I put into writing and editing news stories are just as valuable as the hours put in by a chemistry major in the lab. The world needs journalists to provide information just as much as it needs chemists to provide new medications. Business people are needed just as much as musicians, and computer scientists are needed just as much as historians.
I’m sick of hearing about “in-demand” career fields and statistics about how I’d be much more likely to get a job if I’d majored in math.
The best advice my dad ever gave me in picking a career was to “do what you love, and you’ll find a way to make money doing it.”
I love writing. If that means that in five years I’m making an hourly wage at a small-town, local publication, then I’ll still be proud of myself because I’ll love what I’m doing.
My roommate loves biology. She is going to be a fantastic doctor someday because of the hard work that she has put in at Augustana.
Ultimately, every career field has value, and what’s most important is recognizing the beauty of having a world full of diverse talents.