Ask the average college student if they are stressed out and probably half to 3/4 of them will say yes. Ask the average CREIGHTON student and I think the results will be more like 99% affirmative. (Or should I say negative?)
Creighton students are involved, perhaps even over-involved. Students balance a full-time student schedule, and a selection of other things: work, greek life, athletics, intramurals, clubs, activities, community service, hanging out with friends, working out, studying, SLEEP, etc.
So this builds up. As my dad always tells me, “you have a full plate Christina, you’re burning the rope at both ends!” But I, apparently along with the rest of campus, function well in this way. I rarely have a free second, and if I do, its probably because I should be doing something else but I’m not. I’m booked every day, all day – from 5am when I get up for practice, until around midnight when I try to get to bed…just so I can start it all again.
Coming from my Dad, even though he stresses about me and always asks me if I’m taking care of myself, eating right, etc. I assure him that if one thing is going to suffer, it is NOT going to be my diet. I eat like a horse and it will continue, even in the face of a crazy daily schedule. But what he does point out that having a full schedule and lots of responsibility as a young adult teaches responsibility for “the real world” once we leave college.
I think that it is extremely important to become involved early because it teaches responsibility later in life, especially in the job market. A boss is not going to give you a syllabus or an agenda for the year, especially in the field of journalism. Young people of this generation need to be ready, be adaptable, and be innovative. This generation has both the knowledge and resources to make this world a significantly better place for the human race if only we can use our talents well.
Kofi Annan says it well: “Young people should be at the forefront of global change and innovation. Empowered, they can be key agents for development and peace. If, however, they are left on society’s margins, all of us will be impoverished. Let us ensure that all young people have every opportunity to participate fully in the lives of their societies.”
I think he hits on a few things very well. As journalists, we are able to be agents of change, and our job is to “participate fully” in the life of the society in which we live. Therefore, the need is great to be able to manage that task.
Journalists are thrown into the messes that the world creates and are forced to make sense of it all, to explain it, to report on it, and to be on the front-lines of history in the making. This is both an invaluable opportunity and a monstrous task. Learning to embrace the job as a blessed opportunity, even with all of the stress that comes along with it; will make the difference in your happiness level and job satisfaction.
I know I started this with talking about a busy schedule, but I think it directly lends a hand to world-scale life preparation. Having many tasks to complete at a young age teaches time management, problem-solving, accountability, and stress-relieving practices.
If we as a young generation can carry the heavy plate that we seem to already, hopping in to a field as demanding as journalism will be a significantly easier transition than if we live complacently now until we enter the job force.