At the beginning of 2018, I had no idea what was in store for me. I had no plans to travel, but I had plans to work, and work is what I did. I interned three to four days a week at Weekend TODAY and had an on-campus job, which left me with a minimal social life because I was up between three and four in the mornings on weekends. I did have one Sunday off a month, though, which I definitely utilized. Then, I graduated from Hofstra with my journalism degree and after a two-week break, I moved to a new off-campus house in New York for the summer and interned for the “.com” side of Long Island’s biggest newspaper, Newsday. I spent my summer between NY and NJ, mostly disappointed because it was rainy and I did not get to the beach as much as I could have. By the end of summer, I was already concerned about what this exact post would be like, because I still did not feel like 2018 had “meaning.”
Then, my first semester of graduate school rolled around and it basically laughed at my “minimal social life” from my last semester of undergrad. I interned five days a week: three days a week at WNBC (the tri-state area’s local NBC channel) and two days at Newsday (I just could not leave that incredible place). Between being a full-time intern and student, and participating in extra-curricular activities, it really seemed like I did not have a social life at all. My schedule got me thinking about how the last two semesters were much more work than play (even though my Instagram feed shows otherwise), and it dawned on me that 2018 was really about proving myself what I can do in my field—and boy, am I proud!
After three seasons of eye-opening internships, I have accumulated several online (and some print) bylines, I have shot video of myself to use for job applications and I have gained a knowledge of the different programs digital and broadcast newsrooms use to store, edit and publish their content. I pushed myself to my limits, and while it was exhausting, I feel beyond lucky to have acquired this new insight and experience.
While I loved all the work, I did learn something which I think is better to know now than later (well I think I already knew, but now I have proof): work is not everything, and it is the relationships you have in your life that bring you purpose. Yes, work pays the bills and helps you get things you want in life, but it does not build upon your relationships that have helped get you to where you are now. So, my advice to myself—and anyone willing to listen—is to be passionate about your job and work hard, but don’t forget to take time to nurture the important relationships in your life.
Although this year was very focused on work and advancing myself in my pre-professional career, I cannot just disregard things that made 2018 memorable: I graduated from college, I went on a Daddy-daughter trip to Florida, I drove to North Carolina for a week with an amazing guy, I went to a concert alone for the first time, I dove into spontaneous adventures and I made it to Amsterdam for a few days. So even though I worked more than ever before, I was fortunate enough to mix some play time in.
Overall, it’s about balance. Work hard and play harder. Work on yourself, but also on the relationships that have been there through it all.
I don’t know how another year is already gone, but as I suspected, 2018 was full of great memories. I have some fun things coming up in 2019 such as a trip to California and my annual family ski trip. Plus, if all things go well, I will graduate with my master’s in journalism and be done with school forever! I’m ready for you 2019. Let’s do this.