It’s been very difficult trying to cope with a major life change that is about to occur.
Against everyone’s advice, I applied to graduate school for journalism – only two schools, Northwestern University and City University London, and got accepted into both schools. I didn’t apply to any other university because of my foolish tendency to take unnecessary, impulsive risks. I applied to those schools in particular because they are both considered one of the best, if not the best, journalism schools in their respective countries.
Everyone told me that I didn’t need to go to journalism school to be a journalist. Yet, when I spent endless hours pouring over biographies and Linkedins of my favorite journalists from major news organizations, they all had some form of a journalism degree. I know that there are also plenty of well-regarded journalists who “made it” without the education and did the real-life experience route, but I don’t have that luxury or courage yet. Going down this path – it was all a surprise, but I truly think everything I have done in my life so far has led me up to this point. I told myself that if I got into journalism school, it was meant to be. I am supposed to be a journalist. I just never thought it would be in London.
I am terrified. Moving to London, journalism school, all of this – it’s a gamble. I have to make sure I get a job in the end. I have to make sure I get everything I could out of the program and living in London. Also, I don’t want to come back to the United States. The only way I’ll be able to grow as a person and as a journalist, is to not have any form of a safety net to catch me. I’m scared that I won’t be able to handle it. Everyone keeps telling me that I’m stronger than I think, but sometimes, I only see myself as that overly anxious high school and college student who didn’t have a social life because she was obsessed with studying and going to medical school (which of course didn’t and will never happen).
I don’t want to leave my family and friends, but I feel like this is a classic Alexandra Sarabia – disappear for awhile from everyone I care about, work my ass off, and then come back stronger and accomplished (“Work hard in silence, let your success be your noise”). I have always been a bit of a loner, trying to figure out this crazy thing called life on my own. I don’t want to disappear completely, but I know that I need some time to myself so I can re-build my confidence and ultimately become the great journalist and story-teller I know I can be.
I always remember this quote from Ted Mosby of How I Met Your Mother (I know, roll the eyes, but that show has been the template for my life): “If you’re not scared then you’re not taking a chance. If you’re not taking a chance then what the hell are you doing anyway?’
I don’t know how many more ways I can say this, but I truly am scared to death. And I have been crying a lot because of this, as well as because of the lingering effects of the break up. I know that time heals everything, but I feel like my emotions are just being tugged in every single direction and it’s hard. It’s been so hard to deal with.
I know that I’ll be okay. Good things are happening. I knew something good would happen this year and London is pretty damn great. However, I have this feeling that something even bigger – something even greater than London – is going to happen. I can feel it and usually my gut is right.