This morning, as I introduced myself to a fresh group of prospective UNC students, I switched up my fun fact.  Normally I say that I’ve been cage diving with Great White Sharks, but today my fun fact was a little more mundane.

I’m officially employed.

The statement was met with a round of applause from the room, mostly from parents who proceeded to ask me about internships and other jobs I’d had at Carolina.

Even though I love being a student at UNC, through the whole tour I kept thinking “I’m employed.”  It’s strange to say it out loud. After spending what seems like a lifetime as a student, learning lesson after lesson, acquiring skill after skill, it’s all happening.  It feels exciting. I’m finally taking the lessons I’ve learned inside and outside the classroom and using them in a professional setting.

There’s something that makes it even better.  I got a job doing something I’ve always wanted to do.  I essentially have my dream job. I’m going to be a television news reporter.

If I could go back right now and tell middle school Madison who got up at 7 a.m. every morning to watch the TODAY show I don’t think she would believe me.  High school Madison, who was glued to local news every morning and only followed news organizations on Twitter would have been shocked, especially considering at that point I wanted to be a dermatologist.

To high school Madison I would also say, why the heck do you want to be a dermatologist? You hate science, and barely made it out of calculus alive.  Think about what your passion is. You love to tell stories. You love to write. You also have a flare for the dramatic from time to time. Why would you not pursue broadcast journalism?

Having a job that puts your passions to work truly is a privilege.  Not many people can say they’re doing something they absolutely love, but I am so incredibly thankful to say that I am.  I’ve definitely faltered on my way to this moment. I doubted my writing abilities. I was worried that I wouldn’t make enough money.  I didn’t think I would be good enough.  Well, I won’t know unless I try.

And who knows? Maybe a few years down the road I’ll decide that this isn’t the field for me, or that I want to produce, or work solely on digital content instead.  I’ll reevaluate what my passions are when the time comes.

For now, before my rose colored journalism glasses come off, I’m going to relish in this moment.  

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