The Realities of Reality

Chris Vaccaro definitely took the bull by the horns – he had about a decade’s worth of preparation and experience before landing his job as the editor of the Sachem Patch.  His passion for journalism propelled him to freelance by age 13 as well as become a successful author by his early 20s.

Needless to say, his credentials intimidated the vast majority of our class.  I’m sure that most of us were involved in extracurricular athletics or played video games after school at age 13; the opportunity to brand ourselves and engage in career-oriented activities was beyond our realm of comprehension.

Some students voiced their opinions about his visit.  Many feared that they would not be prepared for the journalism world or be able to obtain jobs without a resume comparable to that of Vaccaro’s.  His work and dedication to reach his goal is phenomenal, no doubt.  We, as aspiring journalists, could feel shadowed, frustrated or insecure.  Vaccaro’s visit served as a shocking taste of the real world.  It tasted bitter-sweet.

As hard of a concept as it is to grasp, there is always somebody who will be better than you.  Your resume could be swimming with extracurricular activities, internships, and job experience to the point where you are forced to change your point size to a 9 as opposed to the standard 12.  It doesn’t make a difference as to which field you are pursuing – somebody will always have more experience, even if you didn’t think it was possible.  By no means should this deplete your level of confidence, but in turn should serve as a motivator and driving force behind attaining goals.

I believe that the benefit of Vaccaro’s visit extended far beyond our Patch education.  He is an accurate example of what we as college students will be up against in the next few years.  Somebody in our prospective field will always have the edge – that’s simply the realities of reality.  We must learn to market ourselves and become immersed in experience.  The world of journalism is becoming more competitive on a daily basis and is changing before our very eyes.  Vaccaro’s experience at his young age should not cause us to lose hope or float in a pool of discouragement.  Let’s take what we have learned, step into the world of adulthood, and put our best foot forward right now.  Age is only a number.

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