Editor's note: I recently found this newspaper column I wrote shortly after I graduated college. It's fun to look back and reflect on the twists and turns your life and career have taken, isn't it? Have you had similar internal conversations with yourself, friends? Let's chat! xoxo
My senses became heightened to all things media at an early age, when I easily became fixated on the glimmering television as I watched hours of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street. Now, whenever I see a newspaper, I open the big pages and let them engulf me. Whenever I smell the fresh paper and ink of an unread magazine, I'm overpowered by this intractable urge to pick it up and devour everything about it. I cradle it in my hands, slowly bring it to my face, flip through the shiny, glossy pages and smell that magazine smell, complete with loads of perfume ads sprinkled throughout. I study each story -- how it's crafted with a specific tone and style -- and take note of the creative use of photos and illustrations. Heck, I even study the advertisements. If I could, I'd probably roll around in a stack of magazines.
It's not like I didn't have the experience. I relished my duties as a campus reporter in college, and in my own, glamorous little world, I could fight the good fight. Plagiarism allegations against an anthropology professor and an education professor whose views were questioned? Bam! School of Nursing staff shortages? Pow! The role of the student trustee? Zap! The cancellation of summer graduation? Ouch! An investigation into faculty salaries? Somebody stop me! I thought I was hot stuff tooling around campus, hounding professors and administrators. Normally the quiet girl, I somehow became a bold and brazen Diane Sawyer. But then, a little craze known as celebrity, sensational journalism gripped the country in its sharp teeth and claws. Walk through any supermarket, and you'll see what I mean: rows and rows of shiny tabloids proclaiming exclusive scoops and pictures of Hollywood's finest -- or baddest. Us Weekly, People, In Touch Weekly. They're all there, and the public's insatiable thirst for all things gossip and sleazy crosses all boundaries. In recent years, the tidal wave has even washed away a bit of the journalist in me. I've become one of them, devouring these celebrity stories week after week. It would be so easy to blame it all on my generation. After all, I was born three days after MTV launched in 1981, so I've grown up with celebrity updates 24/7. My mind has even been leaning toward dreams of a coveted career as an Us Weekly reporter. I know, you're probably cringing right about now.
[Photos via We Heart It]