I started my internship three weeks ago. It’s a weird step to take. One moment you’re eating stale pizza on a Monday afternoon, flicking crumbs from your sweatpants, and next you’re in a professional office, fidgeting in a pencil skirt.
Even if the newness wasn’t enough to make me uncomfortable, I had the pleasure of having a grizzled, cynical reporter as a cubicle neighbor. I’ll never forget the first thing he said to me, “I told my daughter not to major in journalism. There’s just no future in it.”
He’s right, of course. The news industry is undergoing a major shift and won’t be taking many reporters with it. But it still hurt. That comment inadvertently undercut my last four years, and made me wonder why I ever pursued higher education in the first place.
To attend PLNU, my family and I spent roughly $136,500, and that includes two semesters away. I could spend less money and buy a Porsche 911 GT3. That money was spent so that an old guy could tell me it was for nothing.
But you know what? I believe in higher education. I believe in it despite its cost and the statistic that says only 62 percent of recent grads have a job that requires a college degree. I believe in it even when my high school-educated parent earns way more than the grad school-educated parent.
I believe in a college education because it is not all right to limit yourself when you have the means or the passion to learn.
Take a class with Heather Ross, whose passionate lectures on Kierkegaard will befuddle and blow your mind simultaneously. Watch Dr. McKinney’s eyes when he talks of the love in “The Brothers Karamazov.” Wonder with Dr. Maskiewicz at the necessity of bacteria.
But don’t confine learning to the classroom. Cut your foot while on Sunset Cliffs and find a way to take care of yourself with no cell service. Learn what a night in Pacific Beach means and learn what it means in your identity. Pass out blankets to the homeless on a Friday night and listen to their stories. Defend your love of Adalberto’s California burrito – c’mon I can’t be the only one out there.
And when you finally graduate and are thrust into the world, remember to never let anyone, or even yourself, demean your education.
Brittany Naylor is a senior journalism major who defied a town’s law and taught others the joy of dancing. I guess you could say she’s had the time of her life *cue music*.