Column: No more balancing jobs, homework after graduation

By Eric Heisig

I am fewer than four months away from being done with school. It’s a pretty big deal because I haven’t been in this situation since I was 5 years old.

I know quite a few people right now, in journalism and otherwise, that are going to be “hiding out” in graduate school next year. These were people that saw the economy take a turn for the worst and decided to take the GRE. They are hoping for the problems to have blown over when they emerge two years later (Note: This is different than people who have planned on going to graduate school since day one, although I’m sure the grim-looking economy only justified their choice). I, on the other hand, will not be joining them.

While I understand their decision, I can’t say I would ever do the same. It was a struggle to find motivation last semester, and chances are slim this spring, too. I couldn’t be happier to graduate once May rolls around. While I will miss the college atmosphere, I will not miss the class work and activities I have to do on top of class.

As someone who works at The Daily Illini in addition to doing schoolwork, I can attest to the fact that it is a hard balancing act. I was a reporter once, and I am an editor now. As a reporter, I struggled to find time to report and write between classes. I did it, but it wasn’t easy.

As an editor, I often have to get reporters motivated to do interviews and research for stories when they are struggling to find the time. Ideally, if I get a job as a reporter, I will only have to report and get paid to do it, without schoolwork interfering. In that respect, being a full-time reporter will be much easier than being one in addition to being a full-time student.

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I know that if I can’t find a job within the first few months, I can’t simply go back to school. That’s not the path I have taken. Instead, I will just have to keep looking.

In the end, I am doing this because it is exciting. It is something new, which is refreshing after doing something I am used to for 17 years.

It may be rough, but here I come. I am ready for it. After all, it’s not every day that a person can feel like they are 5 years old again.