I’ve been promising myself this one for a while. Time to have a sit down (during the time that all my assignments are due, of course.) and think about why I want to do what I want to do.
For a very brief period when I was about 11, I had a notion in my head that I wanted to teach. It was honestly all I knew in the world. I’d spent six years of my life in the education system. My parents were teachers, even my cousin was planning on a career at the top of a classroom. Something in me thought the only logical step for me was to continue the family tradition and be the shepherd of a herd of eight year olds. Who would probably end up having to teach me anyway, since I have trouble counting past ten with my shoes on.
Then came the epiphany. My childhood came screaming back to me. While all the other kids used to play with their Barbies, I was sitting in my room with a tape recorder reading ‘the news’ to myself. I’m fairly sure the tapes are still at home, but thankfully tape players have left the Zeitgeist and there will be no embarrassing recordings played at any major events in my life.
I also fancied myself as quite the writer. In third class I used to make little magazines and try to sell them to my friends. Rupert Murdoch was quaking in his at the prospect of being overthrown by a nine year old with a packet of sparkly pens.
Having read back over the last two paragraphs, it’s suddenly become clear why people in school thought I was a loser.
Like thousands of people all over the country, I listen to the radio each morning when getting ready for college. One morning, when lying in bed listening to a morning show on a radio station at home, I started thinking about how much fun it sounded like the presenters were having. I decided there and then that I wanted to have as much fun as them, and thus the idea for a career in radio was born.
In TY I did a week’s work experience with a local radio station. I loved it so much I went back the next year, and have admittedly been hounding them to take me back ever since. While I have done work with another station, including a stint as their news reader, I credit Beat for being the one to show me I’d truly been bitten by the media bug.
I started researching places where I could actually study journalism, or media. There was none in Cork, something I’m actually quite happy about. I’m very independent, and I think if I went to college in Cork it would be too close to home. There was one in Limerick, an hour and a half from home. The open day for the university, however, didn’t really appeal to me, and I kept looking. Then, after hearing one of my friends describe their brother’s course, I found it.
DCU offered a three year Journalism course that focused on both print and broadcasting. There was a college paper and a college radio station, which meant I could try both of them out. There was no question, I was going to Dublin. Knowing where I wanted to be and what I needed to do to get there gave me some pretty serious motivation, and I hit college with more than a few points to spare.
I still remember what the head of the school said to us on our first day. ‘From now on, you are all journalists.’ And I’ve never looked back.