I know.

“You’re a graduate student now, so…”

Dear everyone:

I know.

I know I’m a graduate student now. Please http://editionstnt.com/ stop making it seem as though there was a magical change that was supposed to have taken place sometime between May 12 and Aug. 27. I’m starting to feel like that is the case, and I’ve missed out on something.

I understand that the standards are higher. And I understand that I have to put forth more effort. But I still have the same intellect and the same drive as I did four months ago. Part of me wonders if that means I’m not cut out for this. If a 27.5/30 isn’t “graduate-level work,” then I might be in trouble.

I’ve been finding that there’s a learning curve to being a journalist in the city, and I’m still learning how to navigate it. This slow navigation is becoming a problem, because I’m being thrust into “big city journalism” before I’ve made it all the way around that curve.

I’m not used to thinking on such a large scale. The difference between writing for the IUP campus and writing for the City of Pittsburgh is a wide one, and I haven’t quite bridged it yet. Everything I’ve ever had to write has been on a small, incredibly hyperlocal scale, and thinking on such a big scale is a new challenge for me. My adviser at IUP worked for the Indiana Gazette, which is a great paper, but neither they nor The Penn ever exposed me to large-scale investigative thinking.

Like I said. There’s a learning curve. One I’m still working on.

Maybe that means I’m not cut out for “big city journalism” in the long run. But at least until this semester is over, I have to be. And I’m trying so, so hard.

But the worst thing that has come out of this rough start to the semester is having my passion for this profession questioned. It makes me sick, because there’s nothing I want more than to be able to have this for my livelihood. I moved to the middle of the city on my own, by myself, with my own money and, really, very little support, just so I could keep chasing this dream. I could have easily chosen something with better job prospects, or something that is less stress inducing or that doesn’t play into my penchant for awful anxiety. But I didn’t, because I love this.

I’m not complaining, and I’m not trying to make excuses – not by any means. I’m really just trying to reason this out with myself, because I’m really at a loss. This is – and always has been (except for that weird teaching phase) – what I want to do. And this has all just been a little bit defeating.