At the beginning of every summer as a child, I’d create a to-do list for break. You know, the type of list that would undoubtedly reveal the bad girl 14-year-old Taylor clearly embodied beneath that baggy Aeropostale hoodie and jean skirt (shudder).
My bad-girl summer list typically included staying up all night (I’ve yet to pull an all-nighter, even in college) and rearrange Walmart (a small-town Iowa thing I thankfully never achieved).
Clearly, we’re not all meant for the bad-girl life. Rather than create an equally anti-Taylor list this summer, I’ve adopted a more practical, realistic option: a summer 2014 journalism to-do list.
Add “but.” This summer, I’ll admit what I don’t know — but I’ll add five key words after it: “But I’m willing to learn.” That attitude already led me to a love of editing video in Premiere Pro, and I can’t wait to find out where it’ll lead me next.
Write daily. Apparently, writing daily wasn’t badass enough for 14-year-old me. Really, though, I should have added this goal years ago, in place of something life-changing like the inevitable, “Crank call [insert name of latest middle school ‘hottieeeeee]’”). Extra letters necessary, duh. But seriously, I’m determined to update my blog at least once a week with media-related musings.
Remember it’ll all work out. As I confront the fact that my junior year is, in fact, over, and I’m a semester away from graduation, I turn once again to the wise words of late Drake journalism professor Rick Tapscott: “It’ll all work out. It always does.” As the daunting task of applying for “big-kid” jobs looms, that phrase provides a constant anchor (even amid the unmoored moments of panic).
2014 has already proved a year of transformation, change and risk-taking (and I don’t mean crank-calling my latest “soul mate”).
In this past semester, I’ve redefined the rebel spirit of my 14-year-old self. I’ve embedded the uncomfortable — new technology, new challenges, new experiences — in my daily life.
Along the way, I realized I don’t need the thrill of a crank call at 3 a.m. or the tired delirium of a caffeine-fueled all-nighter. I need only the simple satisfaction of knowing at the end of every day that I challenged myself a little bit.