A difficult truth I have always tried to tell myself not to think about, but that I now have no choice but to examine: Journalists are obnoxiously underpaid. In fact, one of my colleagues, who is a prominent editor, told me he absoluetly never buys lattes because if he did, it would cut into his mortgage, food, electricity bills, etc.
This conversation made me question my career path. Hearing someone with whom I admire and could imagine myself becoming one day open up about some of his financial difficulties was really tough.
Plus, as a person who grew up living a comfortable upper-middle class lifestyle and was living a reasonably comfortable college lifestyle, the thought of not being able to enjoy some of the finer things in life was unsettling.
But after examining how I really feel, espresso with steamed milk and other such luxuries provide me with instant gratification, not longterm satisfaction. However, learning knew perspectives and ideas while developing my skills as a writer and reporter is a very rewarding process. Plus, I don’t think seeing articles I’ve written appear in print all across town will ever get old.
Maybe I’ll rethink my decision in the future, but for now, I’m planning on moving full speed ahead. So basically, my advice to all aspiring journalists is the same that my colleague gave me: If you truly love it, go for it. If not, enjoy the splendors of a more lucrative industry.
By Corey Buchanan