The Journalism Graduate: One Year Later

On May 24, 2017, I entered the real world educated, debt-free and unemployed, but I never imagined myself working in retail. I graduated with a B.A. in Journalism from the California State University of Long Beach expecting a job in media. And I was wrong.

Don’t get me wrong. I did think carefully about what I wanted to do with my life, but nothing really popped out to me. I didn’t like the idea of waking up at 3 a.m. just to report at some crime scene, especially if I were to have a family. I couldn’t bear to leave my kids. These were the kind of thoughts I had as I approached my mid-20s.

I didn’t want to stretch myself thin for a job that wouldn’t financially support me, especially if I had to capture videos, photos, audio, edit and publish all of the above. For what? For who? Would I get to live my life or die in an “accident” somewhere?

I needed more time to think about my future. For 9 months, I jotted down all of my interests as well as the investments I would’ve liked to make on the side. But none of that was going to sustain me financially, either.

I applied left and right to about 30 different places in my field of study, only to land a few interviews before dipping my toes into retail. 10 applications. That’s all it took. And I scored.

Now I earn slightly less than I would as a reporter. But I’m not as stressed. I’m happier knowing that I’ll have a job anywhere I go. That I’ll get to keep my head on my shoulders and my feet firmly planted on the ground. Literally.

“So… your degree has gone out of the window,” is what I’ve been told. And as painful as it is to hear that, I still disagree with that statement. Yes, my transition from being a college student to your average working-class adult has been a very strange journey. However, it has led me to believe that I was right to get into retail all along.

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