Thursday, August 9, 2012

Facing down rejections and mosquitoes

By Delilah Vasquez (Chicago, IL)

Optimism and determination are key characteristics in becoming a successful journalist. At SJP I have constantly found myself being presented with numerous obstacles and tested on these qualities. But while the program is arduous both mentally and physically, I am also aware of the long-term benefits: I get to exercise my mind as I develop new ideas, compose questions, and produce articles.

With every new task comes a new set of challenges, such as writer's block, a journalist's biggest nemesis. Often times my mind goes blank and I find it difficult to express my thoughts. But with the generous help of the counselors, writing is becoming easier.

Challenges also present themselves on the quest for information. Personally, I have never faced so much rejection as I did on the trip to New York. Every person I approached bluntly expressed their disinterest in speaking with me. I was highly discouraged but it took bravery and positive thoughts to continue interviewing.

Even the minor things affect my experience here. The heavy weight of my eyelids, due to my lack of sleep, test my strength. And this morning I woke up with 21 mosquito bites on my legs from venturing out into town in order to gather data on our story on the relocation of the Princeton hospital.

But though my difficulties may vary, they do not amount to the happiness I feel at the end of the day. Every challenge, big or small, makes me prove myself and come closer to achieving my dreams.

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