Monday, March 3, 2008

One chance lost

An hour ago, I was plopped on the couch in the journalism room hugging a fat beige pillow, waiting for my interview with my yearbook adviser as a returning staff member of the school yearbook.

"So, why aren't you applying as an editor?" he asked me with a pen in his hand and a blank notebook resting against his lab.

"Well, I'm not going on the yearbook trip to Europe over the summer, so I would feel bad if I did become an editor and didn't completely dedicate myself to yearbook. I'm still new to the staff and I don't think I know enough to have what it takes," I replied.

"That's the stupidest reason not to apply to be an editor. We can teach you how to take better photos and use InDesign, don't you think? You have potential to be an editor -- you just don't give yourself enough credit. You're going to be in New York this summer -- you're going to meet some mean people, and you're going to have to fight for what you want," he replied -- dropping the pen on the floor. The short interview concluded with the point that I need to give myself more credit if I want to get where I want to be.

It was the first time in my whole life that someone told me in person that I had potential to be something -- and yet, I didn't even try. My heart was shattered by the time I arrived home because I did want to be an editor for the award-winning yearbook. I just didn't think I stood a chance, and thus I didn't even bother filling out the application.

The truth is, I felt guilty for wanting to be an editor when I'm even going on the summer trip to Europe, where staff members and editors work together to formulate the basic plan for the upcoming school year's issue. I had chosen to intern for Seventeen instead. There were plenty of other students who wanted to be editors just as much as I did, and are going to Europe. It wasn't fair if I applied and didn't commit my whole summer to yearbook, I thought. I already have an internship with Seventeen and am an editor for a few small print publications-- maybe being an editor for the yearbook would mean more to other students.

Thus, I didn't apply -- but I really wanted to be an editor.

My yearbook adviser was right; there are some vicious people in the magazine publishing industry and I can't let self-doubt get in the way of what I want. I can't let wanting to be nice to other people get in the way either. I'm not one of those vicious people -- while I'm extremely ambitious and competitive, I'm also the girl that giggles at everything you say.

I've already lost one chance -- sure, it's just yearbook, you might say. But it's also a phenomenal award-winning publication and something I'm very proud of.

Lesson learned: I won't ever pass up a chance for something I want again. I will start giving myself more credit. Oh, and I won't let anyone or any industry harden me. Sorry, the giggles and the "oh my goodness!" exclamations are here to stay -- because I can get the job done with a genuine smile.

Miss Couturable
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