Chapter 1 | The Assignment

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Journalism is not an easy major.

When you tell people you're a journalism major, their first response is one of three things "I wish my major was that easy", "journalism is not a real job and will get you nowhere in life" or my personal favorite "your major is basically learning how to write the gossip column of a newspaper". However, after finishing my freshman year of college and am now a month into my sophomore year, I can tell you there is no journalism major who in their right mind would say this is an easy degree. If the late nights and coffee highs, hundreds of article drafts on our computers, pages and pages of thorough research are any indication.

Sitting in a two-hour lecture on the history of journalism, my hand is starting to cramp, and a migraine is beginning to form. I have been without coffee for an hour and fifty minutes, which I am in dire need for right about now to get me through the rest of my classes. Leaning back in my chair, my eyes wander to the rows of students who have their eyebrows scrunched together while rubbing their temples to get rid of the sudden migraine that started at the same time the lecture did. While other students look as if they're about to pull their hair out or have given up entirely and have now thrown their pens down on the table.

Still think journalism is an easy degree? Yeah, I didn't think so.

"That is it for today because I can see most of you are falling asleep as I a typical Monday morning class," Professor Morgan says, earning chuckles from the class "But before you go as you all know each year there is a big assignment that counts to half of your grade for the year," Professor Morgan explains.

Professor Morgan is the main reason the journalism department here is so distinguished. Before she was a professor here at the college, she was a renowned journalist. She made history for women in the industry and also one of the reasons I moved to the other side of the country for college.

"This year you will be required to write a journal article for a front-page spread, photography is required. You will all be assigned an aspect of something here at the college, for example, one of you may be assigned to produce a journal article on a sports team or the fraternity life here on campus. You will be assigned to this topic for the rest of the year and spend your time outside of my classes either observing practices or conducting research and interviews depending on your given topic," Professor Morgan explains as she walks back and forth at the front of the lecture hall. "All assigned topics will be emailed to you later today. There will be no swapping, so if you're not happy with what you are assigned, then you deal with it because that is real life," She ends making her way behind her desk as everyone gets up to leave.

"Hey, want to stop off at Starbucks on the way to our next class? I'm in serious need of coffee," I ask my friend Olivia as we gather our things and head out of the hall.

"You and your coffee addiction," Olivia giggles, rolling her eyes playfully.

"I lasted an hour and a half without my coffee fix, I deserve a reward for that...that reward being more coffee," I tell her, and she laughs as we head towards the Starbucks on campus. Do I get snappy if I don't get my coffee first thing in the morning? Yes. Do I get snappy if I don't continue getting coffee throughout the day? Yes. Does this mean I have a coffee addiction? Probably.

Walking across campus to Starbucks we get inside and recite our orders for the barista before Olivia, and I sit down at a table waiting for them to call our names considering they were busy today. Which is not surprising since while this is one of the many Starbucks on campus, we live in Los Angeles, need I say more?

"Hopefully, I get assigned to the football team for our project, that way I can see Nick more," Liv says as our conversation turns to the assignment.

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