We have three interns at the magazine this summer, all journalism majors and daydreaming of lifelong writing careers. They are now where I was more than a decade ago, coveting a modest collection of clips that will set their budding careers into motion and impress their professors come next semester. They’re adorable, I tell you, eager with their AP Stylebooks and bringing bright ideas to our creative meetings. It’s been a joy to have them temporarily on staff, not just for their young energy but also for the much-needed help.
The most bizarre part of it has been their interest in me, their questions about my college experience, my very (very) modest writing career and my thoughts on their own academia. While reminiscing about college is something I could do all day every day, the rest is laughable! I’m so far removed from college that the journalism courses taught today are a far cry from what the dusty textbooks in my attic teach. Plus, the career of a journalist today isn’t at all what it was when I was a young graduate and the smell of newsprint made my heart skip a beat (as it kinda still does). Journalism is ever-changing, and in some circles, dying altogether.
I’m on the other side now, playing a role that seemed unreachable at times, and watching these young ambitious women plat out the next five years of their lives. To be frank, I’m telling them all the things I wish someone would’ve told me at 20 years old and being as encouraging as I can be. There is so much life to be lived in your 20s, and from what I can tell, at least two of them are darn near unstoppable.
And that is when I give them a pat on the back and say, “You’re doing a great job. Keep it up.”