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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Barber: Journalism Is My Future, Can I Handle It?

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I’ve been keeping careful watch on the recent tragedies we’ve experienced here in the United States. This year has certainly been a year of hardship. Natural disasters across the globe, racism and bigotry abundant, and mass shootings have seemed to dominate the year.

I’ve had a very difficult time watching a lot of this. I tend to be a sensitive person, and when I see people hurting, I hurt with them.

I’m studying journalism and political science at the University of Utah. One of the reasons I chose these majors is that I want to help educate people about what is going on in the world and bring awareness of the difficulties people are facing. If people know about these things, then they can help.

One of the most vivid moments for me was when I was watching live footage of the recent shooting on campus when U student, ChenWei Guo, was killed and the whole school went into a massive lockdown. Many Utah news sources rushed to the scene up near the residence halls, providing coverage and information as it came out. I appreciate the ability to have technology that provides us with live footage to be immediately informed of current events that may affect us.

I huddled in my room with my mom, frantically texting friends and loved ones to make sure they were okay. The shock set in and I could do nothing more than desperately check the news, bouncing between websites trying to find any more information about what was happening.

As I was watching these videos, a woman walked past one of the news reporters. The reporter asked her if she was a student, and she replied that she was with the media. She turned and marched straight towards the scene without fear.

It was at that moment I realized that this is my future job. I will be going into these fields to report.

Honestly, I am terrified. I had some abstract idea in the back of my mind that I might be placed in dangerous situations to bring people news. I expected that, if I become a political journalist, I’ll be sent to crime scenes and perhaps even war zones. However, it had never hit me in a real sense until I watched that brave woman walk fearlessly towards the scene of the crime, not at all bothered by the flashing lights of the police. I imagine her heart must have been racing, and yet she marched forward.

Am I brave enough for this? Can I subject myself to the danger? Can I plod through the tragedy and hurt and remain emotionally intact myself? I’ve always said that my own emotional and mental needs should be my primary concern, but how can I reach my goals?

I’ve been grappling with these questions since then, and I’m truly unsure of the answers. This has been a jolt in my life and in my future, forcing me to reevaluate the plan I had for myself.

It may be a long time before I am able to find answers for myself. All I can do is experiment and find ways to test myself and my own strength.

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