To all new Drake SJMC students: Be willing to change your goals

It’s a natural time of year for goals — defining new goals, checking up on past goals and even abandoning them entirely.

As I bid farewell to my favorite summer ever (yeah, you’re right, that statement deserves a duck-face/sunglasses Instagram selfie), I’m not setting any goals, for once.

When I entered as a freshman (I refuse to partake in that “first-year” rubbish) in 2011, I was determined to be a big-name newspaper editor. You know, that stereotypical editor-in-chief with an eternal glare and a red pen forever in her white-knuckled grip.

That rigid goal kept me from trying new disciplines for a long time. I, Taylor Soule, future print editor-in-chief, didn’t need to learn any of that newfangled digital whatnot.

Eventually, I realized I’m not some print hotshot (or any kind of hotshot, for that matter). I abandoned that rigid, limiting goal for something more flexible, more malleable. I want to try as many elements of the journalism world as possible.

While I lament the naiveté of freshman Taylor, I’d like to leave the new Bulldogs in the Drake SJMC with a few pieces of formal advice.

Define goals, but don’t forget their innate malleability. You’re free to alter them and even ditch them altogether.

Try everything. Not a techie? Take a TV field photography class. Despite your initial reluctance, sign up for that Android app-design class. Help build a killer tablet publication.

By the way, I did all of the above during my Drake experience.

Finally, if your Drake experience doesn’t make you question your major, your passions and your life trajectory on a daily basis, you’re not doing it right.

With my final semester a day away, I can only think of one way to properly end this post — a nugget of advice from late SJMC professor Rick Tapscott: “Journalism is an honorable and fun profession if you go into it for the right reasons.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *